A Guide For Flying In 2142 By- The_Red_Hunter (alias: Captain_Pain) Version: 0.1 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Why fly? 2. The roles of the aircraft (The Transport and the Gunship) 3. Flying etiquette 4. The differences between the aircraft 5. How to fly 6. How to fly- Landing 7. Transport flying tips 8. Gunship flying tips 9. Combat 10. Techniques and the pros and cons of said techniques 11. The Secondary positions 12. Community Input 13. Things to try 14. Contact Information 15. Credits -Why Fly?- The flying mechanic of the battlefield series, as a whole, offers an efficient* way to transport troops and destroy targets across the battlefield. (* with the pod changes of 1.40, the efficiency of the transport has been called into question.**) (**Thankfully, 1.50 fixed that problem.) When flying, the pilot and his passengers are significantly more protected than they would be it they were hoofing it or using one of the various ground vehicles. With proper use, air vehicles can turn the tide of battle. -The roles of the aircraft (The Transport and the Gunship)- In the "vanilla" (unmodded) version of BF2142 there are actually three flying vehicles: The titan, the Transports, and the Gunships. (We’ll be omitting the titan from the since it cannot be actively controlled by the player in the same way that the other two can) Each has its own purpose and way that it should be used. The Transport is essentially a flying school bus and handles as such. The objective of the transport is to ferry troops from point A to point B, act as CAS (close air support), and sometimes as a flying weapons platform (see: Things to try). It is also worth noting that the transport can be used in anti vehicle kamikaze attacks but should only be used at the pilot’s own risk (See: Flying etiquette). The Gunship is the jet fighter/bomber of the game and handles like a cross between a fighter jet and a helicopter. The Gunship serves two very important roles in the game: Anti air and Anti vehicle ops, as well as a few less obvious ones (see: Things to try). The first order of business when piloting the Gunship is to eliminate all airborne opposition and establish air superiority; then and only then should a pilot turn his attention to attacking Transports and vehicles. -Flying etiquette- When flying, there are some guidelines that pilots need to follow. First and foremost, follow the server’s rules. The first guideline that you should observe is the line. The air vehicles, the Gunship in particular, are popular on most servers. If there are other players waiting in the Titan hanger or at the spawning helipad, let them have the airship simply wait for the next one. (Note: A gunship will not spawn until one of the two friendly ones is destroyed. So if it’s taking some time for a gunship to spawn, at least the existing ones are being used properly) Next, on most servers, Ramming = Bad. Even if it is allowed, excess Transport ramming is frowned upon and is widely considered a noobish tactic. Use it your own discretion. While on the subject of what not to do with Transports, when piloting never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never NEVER bail out of a Transport in midair so you can pod down to your intended destination. Every time you do, God kills a kitten. If the Transport lands on you think of it as karma. One of the only good things about the 1.40 pod alterations is that stuff like this has been cut back significantly. NOTE- If your motive for bailing out is to avoid dieing in an explosion or a crash, then that is understandable. When bailing out with a passenger in tow is unavoidable, spam "Bail Out!" (Q commo rose + down) before ditching. The Gunship should not be used as a transport medium for the pilot unless there is a backup pilot ready and waiting. Under no circumstances should the Gunship be intentionally used to ram vehicles or other targets, EVER. Lastly, if there is a friendly pilot who is significantly better at piloting the Gunship, let him have it. The gunship is only helpful when it is being used properly. -Differences between the aircraft- The only real differences that haven’t already been noted or aren’t painfully obvious between the airships are as follows. When pressing "S", the Transport will start to descend while the Gunship will slow down and go into a hover. The Transport can climb to around the 300 mark before becoming resistant to more climbing; the Gunship, on the other hand, will climb indefinitely, but becomes increasingly more unwieldy the higher it goes. The Transport relies on diving for speed while the Gunship can go over 1,300 in a climb. -How to fly- (Before reading, head over to Wikipedia and look up "Flight Dynamics" ) In the default configuration, the aircraft use the WASD (and spacebar) mouse combo. "W" acts as the throttle for the aircraft, let go and you’ll start to slow down and descend. "A" and "D" adjust the aircraft’s yaw left and right respectively. "S" will either cause the airship to descend or to go into a hover depending on what you are flying. The mouse serves several functions, moving the mouse on the X axis (left and right) will cause the aircraft to roll either counter clockwise (mouse to the left) or clockwise (mouse to the right). Moving the mouse on the Y axis (up and down) will adjust the airship’s pitch accordingly; this will be used to climb as well as to land. The left mouse button (as well as the spacebar) fires missiles when piloting the Gunship and activates the horn when in the Transport. The right mouse button serves no purpose when piloting (for usage of the right mouse button, see: The Secondary positions). When learning to fly, remember these two things: Hitting other stuff and the ground = BAD. Have fun. -How to fly: Landing- Landing/rearming and refueling takes a bit of practice. This is what gives most new pilots the most trouble. To practice landing (or any flying elements) head over to an empty Titan server (Suez and Highway Tampa are recommended) or create a LAN map so as not to be interrupted. When learning to land, I recommend using the Transport as it is slower and can take more of a beating than the Gunship. (This may look a bit familiar) Landing is a common problem. First of all, you want to kill your airspeed, so let go of the throttle then flare (angle the nose up) a bit to slow down. There is a technique to flaring, find that "happy medium" between no slowdown and going backward. Now that you have slowed down to a manageable speed there are two options for landing the transport (more on the gunship later): 1. Start tapping, not holding down, S to descend. I say tapping because you can more easily manage your aircraft and adjust your heading by repeatedly tapping the button rather than holding it down and over doing it. Once you get close to the ground, flare back just a bit and hold down S to land. 2. If your airship is already descending, tap W to slow the descent so as to not crash. Once again, tap so that you don't go flying off instead. Now for the Gunship. The key difference for landing the gunship is that holding down S will cause you to hover. Thus, option 1 is ill advised. The best way I have found so far is to follow option 2 and go easy (especially if landing on the titan) or to release the throttle and then tap it intermittently to slow your descent. -Transport flying tips- The Transport relies on a clever pilot to remain flying. The pilot that chooses to fly over the main battlefield stands a good chance of being shot down by AA and a very good chance of being raped by a Gunship. Instead, try taking to the outskirts of the map and approaching your intended target from the rear. If you must fly in the open, there are a few ways to increase your chances of living. The best way to remain in the air when flying the Transport is not to be seen. One "Enemy Transport spotted" by the other team will more than likely bring a Gunship upon yourself. To avoid this I’ve found that flying Nape-of-the-Earth (that is, flying along the contours of the ground, preferably in a very low area like a canyon) will often get you to your destination and your flight path is often below the reach of the Various AA guns. The biggest problem with this is that it leaves you more or less helpless if some problem arises. The other way to remain undetected is to fly high. The draw line of most ground units starts to peter out at around 200 or so. Be flying in the "fog" of the upper battlefield you remain unseen by everything but other high flying air units, vigilant AA gunners, and the various vehicle scans. The other big advantage of flying high is that something does go wrong you can dive out of the area and build up a pretty impressive head of steam (for a transport). -Gunship flying tips- Flying the Gunship can be boiled down to one sentence: Speed equals life. Here’s something that Mack Maloney wrote in one of his Wingman books that pretty much applies to the Gunship: 1) Never stop moving 2) Never lose sight of your target 3) If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying hard enough. Basically only hover when landing and maunvering, and check your six often. The F11 key is your best friend. The most important part of staying alive in the Gunship it to stay aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on your minimap, listen for the various "Enemy ______ Sighted!" calls, and keep your eyes peeled. The air units' silhouettes can be seen for quite a distance, so acquiring and maintaining a target are a bit easier than they would be otherwise. One other useful thing to do is to be aware of which side's Gunship you are flying. The EU's gunship (the Talon) is black and has a sleek look to it. Whereas, the PAC's Gunship (the Doragon) is Brown and sort of blocky. By learning these profiles, you can quickly and more efficiently identify targets in battle. Just remember, the enemy can steal your side's Gunships (and you theirs See: "Techniques and the pros and cons of said techniques") so remain ever vigilant. -Combat- -FOR GUNSHIPS- When flying there are two (three if you have a gunner) types of combat: Air to Air, Air to Ground, and (if you have a gunner) Air to Foot. -AIR TO GROUND- (Cookie if you know where this comes from) Attacking ground targets is a mixed bag seeing that the missiles are "dumb". Remember to lead your shots and adjust if necessary. - For tanks you will either want to attack from a steep angle or approach them from the behind, flying close to the ground. The only problem with attacking in any old way is that a single round from the tank can and will rape a gunship. So when attacking from the front be sure to approach from an angle that's steeper than turret's maximum lift is. As for attacking tanks from the rear, if they can't see you, they can't shoot you. Also, the tank’s second position chain gun can damage air units so stay aware of you damage levels. - Actually, APCs have a hidden power against Gunships. It's not the 2nd position mortar, it's the 1st position's EMP. A skilled driver can lead the shot and cause a strafing gunship to be introduced to Mr. Ground at a high velocity. If strafing, attack fast and haul tail into a climb or an evasive maneuver of your choice. If the strafing didn't take the target out reload and attack from a distance. - A mobile death machine with built in AA? Good luck with this. This thing is heavily armored and the legs are hard to hit, even when it's standing still, so this will most likely take a couple of strafing runs. Attacks fast and furious, then retreat and attack from a different position; keep him guessing. - Attacking these buggers can be a pain. Unless there's and Engi with a SAAW sitting in the back, you shouldn't have to worry about return fire. The best way I've found to attack is to fly close to the ground behind him and let the missiles fly. All in all, I'd find a buddy who's good with the TV missile and then go to town. Just remember, attacking ground targets exposes you, so keep an eye out for enemy Gunships. -AIR TO AIR- -VS Transport- Unless there are some SAAW users or a couple of incredibly good gunners on board, they’re screwed. -VS GUNSHIP- When going against another Gunship there are four important factors that ultimately determine the outcome of your battle: Who sees who first, Use of shields, Who has a gunner, and Skill/Luck. This factor is arguably the most important one. If you can catch the other pilot with his pants down, you can easily blow him out of the air in one pass. Similarly, if he catches you unaware there is a good chance that you will not last very long. If the F11 key is your best friend, then the X key is your next best friend. The Gunship’s shields serve pretty much one function: stopping Gunship and TV missiles. Everything else, including AA can go through it so use it wisely. One should not that you can still be shot down with your shields up; if the enemy’s missiles are already tracking or "dancing" around you more often than not they will still hit you. I have heard claims that the tip of the Gunship’s tail is not covered by the shield, but have yet to see if it is true. See: "The Secondary positions" Sometimes fights can be determined be who is the better pilot. The pilot who can evade will live to fight on a later day. Or you or the target might fly into something (more than likely a light pole); you never know. -VS FOOT- For the most part, the Gunship is not that effective against infantry and should not be used for anti infantry ops. This being said, there are a few things that a Gunship pilot may do to off a target on foot. The first thing you could try would be your missiles. This is ill advised for two reasons: First, Gunship missiles do very little damage to infantry (yet they can tear a tank apart, go figure); second, a target on foot is a very small target so missing and wasting ammo is likely to happen. The other option would be to run them over. To do this, simply swoop down low and try to hit your target without hitting the ground. Be wary though, it only takes a single Pilum round to decimate a Gunship, and don't get me started on the SAAW. Also see: "The Secondary Positions" -FOR TRANSPORTS- The Transport is usually not a good fighter, (See: "Techniques and the pros and cons of said techniques") so avoid combat if at all possible. -Techniques and the pros and cons of said techniques- Death From Above- Flying on the edge of the "Fog" caused by the view range of those on the ground to avoid being spotted by targets and other air units. Pros- Good for AA ops and sneak attacks. Cons- Limits view range somewhat and leaves you subject to attack from higher up units. Man O' War- Attacking a Gunship then going into a hover and circling around the target hoping that you end up in better position to fire. Pros- If you have a gunner or get in a better position than your opponent then you will win more often than not. Cons- If your opponent has a competinent gunner. Then you WILL LOOSE. Also leaves you open to attack from the other team's remaining Gunship and all forms of AA. Hit and Run- Attacking an unaware target and then flying off before they know what hit them. Then attacking again from a different angle. Pros- Of all the attacking styles, this leaves you with the highest chance of avoiding damage. Also, it keeps the enemy confused. Cons- Leaves your target with time to repair and regroup. If you were spotted then the enemy will know where you went and where you will be attacking from. Hit and Run Like a Scared Little girl- Attack your target and haul tail out of there before he can kill you. Pros- Best technique against superior targets and multiple Gunship groupings. Cons- Not the most dignified method of attack. Often does not do anything other than wound the target. Flying Platform of Death (Transport only)- Loading a Transport with some buddies to rain down death upon the battle field. Several Engineers (Riders with SAAWs and Motion Mines) and at least one Support player (Pilot or Gunner) and an Assault player (Pilot or Gunner) if needed. Pros- With cooperation and teamwork, this is deadly even against multiple Gunships. Cons- Where are you going to get people to do this? Ring of Death- Approaching a area with heavy infantry presence (Flag/Silo, Titan deck, ect.) and circle strafing it as your gunner unleashes hell upon it. Pros- Absolutely deadly for infantry. Cons- Leaves you open to attack. There's a large chance that you may fly into something. -The Secondary positions- The secondary gunner positions are almost as important as the pilot and are extremely useful when used properly. What makes this special is the fact that the chaingun's bullets can go through the shields of air units. Also, when in the TV missile view mode a gunner can spot enemy vehicles that are out of view range. NOTE- Chaingun bullets only damage the following vehicles- Jeeps, Transports, and Gunships. The only other thing that is hurt by these shots are infantry. So refrain from drawing attention by wanton shooting. When attacking an enemy Gunship, try to keep from shooting until you are fairly close. This way, the target remains unaware of your presence until it's too late. Lastly and most importantly, if you have a mic. speak with your pilot. This will make you far more effective. As for the TV missile. There's not really anything you can do to get better than to practice with it. Just remember, keep your movements small and quick. -Community Input- In this section I will be inserting bits of wisdom that other players have come across and decided to implement. First up, Epic_Wizard of GFAQs: "I would say that I'm fairly good with the transport and the Gunship (I have my off days though) and they really do have different advantages and disadvantages. A transport with an awesome pilot and his entire squad with the right gear in the back will absolutely kill everything without exception unless he is rammed or meets a REALLY sneaky Gunship pilot/gunner combo. What I mean is something like this: Pilot: Medic or Support to heal or resupply people. Gunner 1: Again Medic or Support to heal or resupply people. Gunner 2: Medic or Support once again though you only really need 1 Resupply person with an Infantry detector to stick on the Transport. The Edge seats are the ones that have the person's legs hanging over the side. Edge Seat 1: Engineer Edge Seat 2: Also Engineer The Bucket seats are the ones opposite the gunner positions Bucket Seat 1: You can go with almost anything here Bucket Seat 2: Again almost anything with the right load out Okay little more in depth now: The pilot if he is a Medic (and probably should be one) should have probably just about anything he wants because the only thing that affects anything is the medic hub he carries. The two gunners should be either medics or Support. I would say Medics again because Support has nicer accessories to use from the Transport which they can't do in the Gunner seat. The two bucket seats should really probably be Engineers but if you have really good people then they can be Recon with demo-packs and either the Decoy or AMP's but Engineers with Motion Mines, a Pilum, and a vehicle beacon are probably the safest bet. They should both have the beacon because it can be destroyed easily and having two people with one means you aren't left blind if one is destroyed. The reason for the Pilum is that you won't have enough of a field of view for the SAAW and besides the transport's guns will go through the shield and just eat a Gunship if you get above it and the regular rockets are only worth it IMO if you can use the guidance which is impossible from a moving transport (trust me you don't want to stop moving). The motion mines should be an obvious choice. The last two seats can basically be anything though Recon has some obvious disadvantages since all of their stuff sticks to the Transport if they miss place it. This leaves Support (you will need at least one in the Transport), Engineer, and Assault. Support has the RDX gun which can detonate motion mines as well as simply provide more damage on certain targets. They also have infantry beacons and EMP grenades which are devastating when combined with Engineers and with Motion Mines and Pilums. Assault is best on maps with fewer vehicles due to their Rockets which are fast and have high damage and if you want they could also have their radar grenades. There are seven seats in the Transport which is enough for an entire squad with one seat left over. I would suggest that the commander take this seat (probably one of the bucket seats). He can place UAV's, EMP strikes, and (on conquest maps) drop orbital strikes. Plus he can go into his commander screen and spot targets with the Sat Track. In addition (even though you should be using an external Teamspeak or VoiP server for this) he can communicate directly with the squad leader which someone outside of the squad could not do. One of the most important things with this strategy is that the pilot and passengers communicate and that the pilot try to stay high above the action and not drop to the ground unless absolutely necessary. Of course Engineers should heal the Transport when it takes damage and everyone should not take random pot shots that will simply give away their position. Feel free to use this strategy because it would make me so very happy since I have had this idea for an age and never been able to try it out. This will work even better if you have a Gunship to support you that you can communicate with since the Gunship is better at taking out armored ground targets and a double team on another Gunship in this situation is devastating." Also by Mr. Wizard "- Squad leader flies the gunboat so almost everyone else can spawn in. He needs to keep a watch on his 12 o'clock high, since that is the only indefensible area. - RDX does not drop well from a moving gunboat. At top speed, it actually sticks to the engines, a bad thing to happen on FF-on servers. Motion mines don't fare well either, since they tend to bounce around after dropping from heights rather than laying still like all other equipment. - Squad leader flies the gunboat so almost everyone else can spawn in. He needs to keep a watch on his 12 o'clock high, since that is the only indefensible area. Yeah you're right on this point which I omitted accidentally the squad leader should fly the boat though I wouldn't say 12 high is the only area to worry about. Mostly you just need to know how to maneuver the Transport without flipping it. - RDX does not drop well from a moving gunboat. At top speed, it actually sticks to the engines, a bad thing to happen on FF-on servers. Motion mines don't fare well either, since they tend to bounce around after dropping from heights rather than laying still like all other equipment. Anyone who is dropping RDX at top speed should be thrown out of the Transport anyways since there is NO WAY that it's going to actually kill anything. As for Motion Mines while I agree with you about the bouncing (especially if there are enemies near where it lands so that it activates) you are probably still better off with it since skittish vehicles are almost as good as dead ones. Plus you can always just fly low and lay the mines in the path of advancing vehicles. - Evasion strats against vehicles and infantry. For Tanks the best thing to do is to either try and get over them (now THAT is a vulnerable 12 o'clock) or simply keep your distance since the primary gun is inaccurate unless the guy REALLY knows his stuff (even I'm not that good and I practice tank sniping) and the machine gun is only a bother if it kills one of your passengers or if you hang around to long. Walkers should be avoided since they have a fairly uniform field of fire and those EMP missiles can make you crash. Same basically goes for competent AA turrets (incompetent ones don't lead you and will never hit with anything that isn't an EMP missile. For both keep your distance and try to put something between you and them to break up the lock for the missiles. Infantry are only a bother if you can't kill them fast enough or you engineers don't start repairing when the first SAAW missiles hits. The lag time between hits on a SAAW will give you the time to repair before the second hit if you engineers are good at their job. Other infantry can only kill your crew and even that takes some major skill with one or two medics on board. The main thing to watch out for is multiple simultaneous rockets since those will take out enough of your health and in quick enough succession to kill you our right. Basically your best bet is to just kill any infantry that become apparent which is the easiest solution. As for APC's they don't have anything except the grenade launcher that can actually hurt the Transport itself (unless someone in a drop pod gets REALLY lucky) so everything else can only cause you to crash or kill your passengers. Believe it or not with the Transport the latter is more of a danger than the former since the APC has a powerful Machine Gun for its main turret that has good accuracy at range. On the upside most APC drivers won't be able to hit you with the turret with any kind of accuracy since they won't lead and it does have a minimum range so you don't have to worry about it past a certain point. As for the EMP grenades they don't pose much of a danger unless you strafe the APC and you really shouldn't be doing that in a Transport. Basically just avoid them, stand off, and let the guys with the Pilums plink away at them. - How to safely approach a Titan. This one is best practices on Wake Island believe it or not. You want to achieve a height were you are just under the titan's AA guns which is very well defined on Wake. The real trick is to land on the relatively small area that is the Titan's back deck and live. Of course you could always take my favorite approach which is about 500-700 meters above the titan and let everyone air drop in. You get points towards your drop off awards and you can always take the transport where it's needed or away for repairs. Plus at that height you're very hard to hit with the AA guns on the Titan (though they can hit you) and podders are no longer a worry. The only real issue is keeping the Transport over the Titan. That said you shouldn't be attacking the titan if you have the aforementioned Transport setup. Just stick to silos and fly around taking silos back as soon as they go grey. Don't try to hold more than probably three silos since that gives one for you to be capping, one for them to be swapping to, and one to be counting down as future bait for them. The reason for this is that you get a fresh launch every time you cap a silo so you want them to NOT get launches and you want to get the maximum number of launches possible. Also keep in mind that you don't want to mess around with silos that will give a Transport trouble like the central one on Sidi." If you want to see your advice turned immortal, send it to me (See: "Contact Information") or post it in my GFAQs "Flying Lessons" thread. -Things to try- "The Hotshots Airbrake"- When climbing (or just leaning back) in the gunship, hit and hold "S" to kill off airspeed very quickly. This serves pretty well in throwing off a Gunship that's tailing you. This can also work for some AA gunners. -Flying Lessons- Anyone who wants flying lessons please feel free to ask (Via XFire, GFAQs boards, ingame, E-mail, ect.). If possible please acquire XFire as it will make the process go quite a bit smoother. -Contact Information- Anyone with corrections, comments, questions, lesson requests, ect. please send an E-Mail to f14deathfromabove@yahoo.com please include a relevant subject line with your message. GFAQs- The Red Hunter Gamespot- Mobius2 2142- Captain_Pain & I_am_not_Steve XFire- iamnotsteve -Credits- Me, Myself, I, We (Royal we), EA/DICE (to an extent), BF2142 GFAQ Board posters, Epic_Wizard, the members of GFAQ_Ltd., and GFAQs.