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Author Topic: Modding Tornado  (Read 43145 times)

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Offline Speedwagon

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #210 on: February 01, 2019, 03:03:53 AM »
Just clear a path with the Mauser on short final for landing.   :thumbsup

Offline Tom N

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #211 on: February 01, 2019, 08:29:28 AM »
So far great mods!

However, the IR-Missile-threat-deactivated-when-no-fuel-left - cheat still is active ;-)

Frankie, I've got a task for you to modify something shown in the HUD.
It's only visible while in air-radar-mode when you lock onto an enemy CAP-fighter (which is above 10000 feet). It may be confsing for fresh gamers and is still irritating for other sim-players like me.

Some pictures and speed examples:
when you lock onto the Mi-24 "Hind" it shows a speed of 160 (kn IAS = indicated air speed)
when you lock onto those 2 planes around allied airfield "A" in free flight mode of the Simulator Missions,
 it shows a speed of 221 (knots IAS)
when you lock onto the enemy AWACS at around 36000 feet it shows a speed of 240 knots IAS

NOW: when you get that "AC" alarm on your radar warning receiver (RWR) on the right side above of your engine readings and you lock onto that CAP-fighter changing course and increasing speed
your heart might drop, because the speed shown is above 400 (?) and steady-blitz-like increases to MORE THAN 900 (?).

The "?" must be the mach numbers of true air speed, because that enemy fighter otherwise would lick the Tornado nose in about a second you locked onto that one.
So all CAPable air-to-air-fighters (3 types) are speed indicator faulty, somehow.

So the holy quest would be: Can you modify that one?
It's so out of order, but still works oddly ;-)


The autopilot height modification is a huge feat, really!!!
You did one of the best mods there!

(Notice that your e-scope alert lamp at the bottom left corner of the terrain following radar screen permanently flashes at the two lowest height settings now at level flight alone; that alert lamp shows autopilot selfshuttingdown sequence about to initiate, because of overwhelming flight conditions, the autopilot then would be pull up the Tornado's nose in a last effort before selfcancelling, you get that situation when flying fast and low above really rocky terrain)

Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #212 on: February 01, 2019, 02:42:56 PM »
111.  Improved status bar with informative autopilot code.
Mod: I reformatted the bottom status bar and made it more informative, especially when the gamer is in the external views.
By Frankie

Description: The bottom status bar now sports a redesigned text look. It also has autopilot mode information built in. The main reason I created this mod is because when I am in an external view (Tracking View, Reverse View, Fly-By View, Spectator View), I usually forget which Autopilot mode has been enabled. So rather than having to hit the Home or PgUp keys to see which Autopilot mode I am currently engaged, now when I am in an external mode, a letter code gives me the information I need.

Here is my take on the new status bar:


When the True Radar Altitude (TRA, see appendix) value dips below 5,000 feet, the color changes from cyan to red. This is already in vanilla Tornado. What is different in this mod is I have appended an Autopilot Mode letter code to the TRA.

The altitude value is preceded by a single letter code. The letter represents the Autopilot mode.
LetterAutopilot mode
MAutopilot off (manual)
ASpeed/height Acquired mode
TTrack mode
RTerrain Following Radar (ride) mode

I have also respaced and reworded most of the text along the status bar. I have uploaded two versions of the FLIGHT.EXE. One with the tree mod built-in (FLIGHTT.EXE) and another without the extra trees frills (FLIGHT.EXE). Both files are inside the attached FLIGHT.ZIP file.

Cheers
Frankie Kam

APPENDIX
the True Radar Altitude can be measured using a radar altimeter (or "absolute altimeter"). Also referred to as "radar height" or feet/metres above ground level (AGL). True altitude is the actual elevation above mean sea level. It is indicated altitude corrected for non-standard temperature and pressure. Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altitude
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 05:01:26 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Speedwagon

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #213 on: February 01, 2019, 11:41:33 PM »
Frankie, nice ideas for improving the status bar. You’re really on to something good here. Just took it for a test flight.

Observations:

1. There is major "gotcha" that needs attention (see suggestions below). To see it, set up the autopilot to track (F7) to any waypoint and terrain follow (F9) at any ride height. The first "Free Flight (Airborne)" simulator mission is perfect for this. Hit F1 for Track view and note the ALT and TFR readouts. Now press F9 again, simulating this happens by accident in the heat of battle. This will change the altitude hold to ACQR (acquired). However in Track view nothing changes in the status bar to indicate that terrain following is no longer active. We’re in for a nasty surprise when we get to the next hill.

2. The term “True Radar Altitude” in your graphic is a bit confusing since the ALT readout serves two purposes. The readout is barometric altitude while we are flying 5000 feet or more above sea level. Below that altitude the readout switches to radar altitude above the ground.

3. It’s also important to distinguish that ALT is an actual readout of altitude (barometric or radar) whereas TFR is only a display of selected Ride Height and not an actual readout of radar altitude.

Suggestions:

1. To emphasize #3 above, change TFR= to RIDE=. And the RIDE readout should be active only when the autopilot is terrain following. Otherwise the readout should say OFF to highlight that TF is not engaged. (If OFF is not possible then perhaps 0000 or ----.)

2. To emphasize the autopilot mode remove it from the ALT readout and create a dedicated readout for it: AP=. I’d suggest putting it between the ALT and RIDE readouts so it’s front and center on the status bar. The options could closely match those shown on the MFD and also color coded:

TRK - autopilot is tracking to waypoint
A/H - autopilot is holding altitude and heading (altitude can be barometric or radar)
OFF - pilot is manually flying

Note that I’ve left out terrain following as a mode for two reasons. First, it’s status would be more properly displayed by the RIDE readout. Second, terrain following is somewhat of a submode since it can be active in both TRK and A/H modes of the autopilot.

3. To free up characters for these changes I’d suggest:

   a. Eliminate ^ symbol for ALT and TFR
   b. Eliminate ^/M symbol for VSI
   c. Shorten the SPD unit to KT
   d. Shorten the FL unit to LB
   e. Shorten the VSI readout to five digits

4. Since I can visually see the roll angle several ways in Track view I don’t see the value of the RL readout. I’ll put in a vote to restore this to a heading readout instead.

More feedback if I think of anything else.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 01:29:44 AM by Speedwagon »

Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #214 on: February 02, 2019, 01:40:05 AM »
Working on it. Tinkering away....Tinker. Tailor. Soldier. Spy.

WIP1.

VSI readout reduced to 5 digits (check!), KT (check!), LB (check!) and RIDE label used (check!)

More soon.

SPECIFICATIONS CHECKLIST (Green means done!)

1. Terrain Following status to be displayed by the RIDE readout.
   1.1. Change TFR= to RIDE=
   1.2. RIDE readout should be active only when the autopilot is terrain following
   1.3. RIDE readout should say OFF (or 0000) if TF is not engaged
   1.4. When Terrain Following is active in either TRK and A/H modes, colour code the readout

2. Autopilot Mode
   2.1. Remove Autopilot Mode code  from the ALT readout
   2.2. Create a dedicated Autopilot Mode readout AP= positioned between the ALT and RIDE readouts
   2.3. AP= values:
          2.3.1 TRK - autopilot is tracking to waypoint
          2.3.2 A/H - autopilot is holding altitude and heading (altitude can be barometric or radar)
          2.3.3 OFF - pilot is manually flying
          2.3.4 AP = values to be colour coded

3. To free up characters for the status bar,
   3.1. Eliminate ^ symbol for ALT and TFR
   3.2. Eliminate ^/M symbol for VSI
   3.3. Shorten the SPD unit to KT
   3.4. Shorten the FL unit to LB
   3.5. Shorten the VSI readout to five digits

« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 02:04:54 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Speedwagon

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #215 on: February 02, 2019, 05:16:24 AM »
Tinkering away...nice one!

Looking good mate. Geez you work fast.

Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #216 on: February 02, 2019, 08:48:52 AM »
Hi Speedwagon

Prototype. Still a bit buggy. But the idea is there. I couldn't do the "show RIDE value only when TFR is enabled" thingy as it was quite complicated, but this FLIGHT.EXE will act as a good discussion and testing point. See attached FLIGHT.EXE. I am also attaching the EXTRNPAN.ASM source file as a record. It is the main file that controls the way the status bar looks and works.

Update (5 hours after my post above)
More progress. The hardest part is dealing with the F9 key which, when the Tornado is already in Track Acquire mode (F7), toggle between ALT_ACQUIRE and ALT_TF! This is the submode which you mentioned. Tinkering away.....

Update again (20 minutes after my previous update)
I managed to solve the submodes toggle between ALT_ACQUIRE and ALT_TF when F9 key is pressed, whilst in Track Acquire mode (F7)! I am attaching the latest EXTRNPAN.ASM source file for the record.

The latest FLIGHT.EXE is also attached as always. Please see the attached file FLIGHT.ZIP which contains:
1. Latest FLIGHTT.EXE with trees mod - caveat: the tree mod causes your Tornado to flicker at times.
2. Latest FLIGHT.EXE with vanilla (standard) trees - i.e., without the tree mod, and with NO any flicker problems

Prepare to be have your socks knocked off.

Yet another update (an hour after my last update)!
I managed to solve the colour coding of the various Autopilot Modes.

I am uploading the latest FLIGHT.EXE and FLIGHTT.EXE files. Please see the attached zip file named FLIGHT_AP_COLOR_CODED2.zip. I hope you have coloured socks in your wardrobe because I guarantee you that YOUR SOCKS WILL BE KNOCKED OFF!

Regards
Frankie Kam

APPENDIX
How to test this Status Bar mod:
1. Once you are in the Pilot cockpit, hit F1 to go to external Tracking View.
2. Hit the "[" key twice - you should see the "AFDS THROT" MFD at the top left of your screen.
3. Play around the Esc, F6, F7, F8 and F9 keys. Observe the "AFDS THROT" MFD and your bottun status bar. They should synchronise!
4. Hit F7, F8, F9 and then reverse the order with F8, F7.
5. Play around with Track submodes by first hitting F7, followed by F9 repeatedly - you should toggle between "A&H" and "TFR".
6. Try the Approach autopilot! When you are approaching the landing beam of a runway, hit the F6 key.

Have fun!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 03:59:22 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Speedwagon

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #217 on: February 02, 2019, 04:20:28 PM »
Hi Frankie,

Yup, the socks are off…wow. First thing I notice is how clean the status bar looks. Very easy to read.

I really like the “toggle” you’ve created between RIDE= and ACQR= depending upon the autopilot mode! Makes this readout even more valuable since it now shows the desired altitude for both conditions. And it removes the need to color code RED when terrain following is OFF (unless you think we could/should). An elegant design solution for a complicated coding challenge. Well done!

I realize this is still in prototype so I’m just noting here that:

* The SPD readout appears to be inoperable
* When the autopilot is in TRACK mode the AP readout doesn’t show TRK

Discovered something interesting about the F9 key. When the autopilot is in TRACK mode you can switch terrain following ON and OFF with F9. However in ALT/HDG mode you can only use F9 to switch terrain following ON. If you want to switch back to ACQR you have to use F8. A safety lockout of sorts I guess. This appears to be an original design feature of the game that I never knew before.

Thanks for all your time doing this, Frankie. You do an amazing job of not only incorporating these kinds of ideas but finding ways to make them even better. Your improvements to the status bar are increasing the power of all the external views. Bravo!

Aloha,
SW

Offline Speedwagon

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #218 on: February 02, 2019, 04:37:45 PM »
Just read your last update...thanks for the PM. The Techs are loading the new s/w now and we should be in the air shortly...

Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #219 on: February 02, 2019, 04:44:19 PM »
Hi SpeedWagon

Thanks for taking the time to test this! ;-)

>* The SPD readout appears to be inoperable
>* When the autopilot is in TRACK mode the AP readout doesn’t show TRK
>

The SPD readout now works. Previously I used it to show the AUTO_MODE values. So when you hit the F7, F8 and F9 keys, the SPD readout would show 2, 4, 8 (something like that) which are the indices of the three autopilot modes. Yes, right after I uploaded the first prototype, I realised that the TRK wasn't displaying. Now solved. The executable you were testing was most probably the first FLIGHT.EXE that I uploaded. It has been replaced about 4 to 5 times since then. The current (latest) FLIGHT.EXE and FLIGHTT.EXE files that reside inside the uploaded FLIGHT_AP_COLOR_CODED2.zip now work fine.

I never understood about the submodes thingy until I tested the FLIGHT.EXE. Lo and behold, when in Track Autpiot, hittin F9 toggles between the Acquired Autopilot and the Terrain Following Radar Autopilot! I never knew that, and now I see it visually.

As for the ROL (roll) readout, it was a feature requested by TomN who specialises in landing the Tornado on roads, zero fuel as in a glider would land and in extreme crosswinds. He needed the roll degree readout so that (I think), he could make fine banking adjustments even if the Tornado was zoomed way far out from his view. So for now, I think the ROL readout is functional and can remain.

Regards
Frankie Kam
Regards
Frankie Kam

After the Dogs of War are let slip, let us smoke the Pipes Of Peace.

Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #220 on: February 02, 2019, 05:20:27 PM »
112.  Enhanced status bar with Autopilot data for external views
Mod: The status bar is now embedded with autopilot state/status feedback
By Frankie

Description: This improves status bar gives the gamer visual feedback of FIVE autopilot modes whilst in external view.
AUTO_OFF-Off (Manual)
AUTO_APPROACH-Approach (Auto-Land)
AUTO_TRACK-Track Acquire (fly to next waypoint)
AUTO_HOLD-altitude and heading hold
AUTO_TF-Terrain Follow

So now you can enjoy the external views more and need not switch to the cockpit view so often. Here's what the mod has given to the Tornado simulation.


Autopilot is off. On manual flying. Not for the faint of heart!



Track Autopilot with altitude and heading acquired submode.
AP=TRK and ACQR=1000 means the Tonka will fly automatically at fixed altitude as it tracks the flight path.



Track Autopilot with Terrain Following Radar (Ride) submode.
AP=TRK means the Tonka will twist and turn its way as it follows its flight path automatically.
RIDE=200 means the Tonka is skimming the earth at a height of 200 feet above ground.



Track Autopilot with Terrain Following Radar (Ride) submode.
AP=TFR and RIDE=200 means the Tonka is at a constant heading, and riding the earth at 200 feet above ground.


Acquired Altitude and Heading autopilot.
AP=A/H and ACQR=3000 means the Tonka is flying in a constant heading, and at height of 300 feet above ground.



AP=APR and ALT=AUTO means the Tonka is on landing Approach Autopilot mode.
Its angle of descent follows the glideslope provided the glidescope crosshairs are properly aligned.


Enjoy.

Regards
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 05:46:24 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Speedwagon

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #221 on: February 03, 2019, 02:52:25 AM »
The info you've added to these exterior views is just amazing. One of your best mods yet. Opens up a whole new way to play Tornado. Well done.

The ALT readout is perfect -- all digits in blue 5000 ft and above sea level, below that switching to amber with prefix R for radar altitude above ground. I sent you an email with some additional ideas to tweak display of autopilot as well as autothrottle status. Adding AP=APR and ALT=AUTO for landing is excellent. I did find one bug in this mode -- details also in the email.

No worries on the RL readout. Just putting in my two cents. I need to try some of TomN's landings so I can put it to good use!

And you were about ready to head off into the sunset...LOL

« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 03:12:02 AM by Speedwagon »

Offline Tom N

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #222 on: February 03, 2019, 05:34:13 PM »
Okay, here some numbers about the speeds, testing it in the ADV-Tornado CAP-fighter, but first for the enemy:

In a video flying a 12minute campaign struggling with 3 enemy CAP interceptors, there is this situation at 6:08 --> an enemy fighter accelerates from 510 kts (that's already mach 1.0 !!! ) to 650 kts at an average height of 15000ft in just 10 seconds

(615kts is the brim for reaching 1.3 mach; 675kts is the threshold to 1.4 mach in that height, roundabout --  that aforementioned leaping from a cozy speed of 500 kts to over 800 kts might be displayed in lower heights for IAS "behavior" is that way, higher numbers (just IAS, not mach or true airspeed) to reach nearer to the ground)



The Tornado ADV (10 missiles, 11000 lbs of fuel) under same circumstances starting with mach 1.0 / 510 kts at 15000ft speeding up for 10 seconds ends at barely 560 kts.

Same condition (510 kts, 15000ft height, 10 seconds aceleration) but jettisoned everything except 1000 lbs of fuel gets the Tornado to a speed of 570 kts with roughly 250 lbs fuel left ;-) .

Are the engines of the Tornado really that weak compared to MiG-31s, Su-27s?

Data:
Su-27 thrust power 2x 122.5 kN, at average weight of ca. 25000 kg
MiG-31 thrust power 2x 152 kN at average weight of maybe 30000kg

-- Tornado ADV thrust power 2x 73kN at an average weight of maybe 20000kg --

So, oh, uhm, might be all right, I'm a bit baffled there about the acceleration weakness of the Tornado then.
Those awe-inspiring feats of the sowjet interceptors might be very true, now having collected all that data. I'm sorry for the bothering,
but it seemed always so out of fairness, facing enemy interceptors that can get aggressive and ready to just leap in your face in an instant.

Quest cancelled :-(,
or maybe you modify speed indications to be more precise (mach numbers with more digits in HUD, toggle speed display there with "alt"+"H")
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 06:55:47 PM by Tom N »

Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #223 on: February 03, 2019, 06:07:23 PM »
Hi TomN

Specifications (Su-27SK) Maximum speed: At altitude: Mach 2.35 (2,500 km/h, 1,550 mph) At sea level: Mach 1.13 (1,400 km/h, 870 mph). Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-27

The MiG-25's speed was limited to Mach 2.83, but it could reach a maximum speed of Mach 3.2 or more with the risk of engine damage. ... The MiG-31 airframe comprises 49% arc-welded nickel steel, 33% light metal alloy, 16% titanium and 2% composites.[30] Its D30-F6 jet engines, each rated at 152 kN thrust, allow a maximum speed of Mach 1.23 at low altitude. High-altitude speed is temperature-redlined to Mach 2.83 – the thrust-to-drag ratio is sufficient for speeds in excess of Mach 3, but such speeds pose unacceptable hazards to engine and airframe life in routine use. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-31

Hope this helps. The Tornado IDS is the meat of DI's simulation. The Tornado ADV missions are also fun and a welcome change from the mud-moving ones, but the Tornado ADV manuevers like a pig when it comes to Air To Air combat.

Frankie

After the Dogs of War are let slip, let us smoke the Pipes Of Peace.

Offline Tom N

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #224 on: February 03, 2019, 06:26:46 PM »
So that's it then,

either flying low in the mud through all the AAAs and SAMs (in the books there were loads of more AAA sites and tanks and Iraqi airfields, the amounts of SAMs and AAAs need to be doubled at least in this game! (next mod quest ^^) )

or flying high to grab a companion/ witness (enemy CAP fighter).

Dive bombing is REALLY accurate, while LOFT bombing certainly is not at all,
I'm not aware of how close together those aircraft shelters for the 8 would-be-scattering general purpose bombs were.

It's also a "wow" about those Su and MiG speeds, they really CAN outwit a missile by flying high speed turns to make missiles' steering crazy.

There never was a warning label on the CD about superior enemy aircrafts, incoming within half a minute.
Just:
"Fly with your Navigator at day and at night several missions. Drop laserguided bombs, which grant high accuracy. Try staying on top against all enemies. Though caution: enemy interceptor at 12 o'clock."
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 06:43:16 PM by Tom N »