Up-to-Speed Guide for the Su-25T/Flaming Cliffs
While there are the LOMAC Tutorials, it’s good to get your plane in the air and then look around. This Guide allows the returning or new simmer to get a handle on the Super Frogfoot and its capabilities. These are the basics but not the full tutorial. The full tutorials were done by Ironhand and are the best.
The Flaming Cliffs manual is very good. I’ve put a short-cut to the manual on my desk-top; you might too. Also print out the KeyCommands file in the C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\Eagle Dynamics\Lock On\Doc folder for a full list of commands. I put a short-cut to it on my desk-top as well. For settings do NOT to choose EASY RADAR.
This Guide begins with your ass on the ground ready to fly.
Getting off the Ground
Usually you’re starting from the Taxiing Area for Engine-start. RWIN-HOME(RWIN is the Windows key to the right of the Spacebar and next to the ALT) gets the engine spooling up. Individual engine start ups can be done with ALT- and SHIFT- HOME. I wait by playing around with the Lights and looking around the cockpit and looking on the outside(see the Looking around section below). Just remember that the Su-25T needs careful handling on the ground. 20-50 kmh is sufficiently fast without you getting into trouble with blown tires.
- SHIFT-L turns on/off your whole electrical system. Some people start on the ramp with systems totally off. Your dials should wiggle about and fuel info increase.
- RWIN-HOME spools up the engine but your throttle needs to be near or at zero or the engine gets flooded. If you have problems with that maybe your throttle needs to be calibrated. Individual engines with ALT(Left engine only) – and SHIFT- HOME(Right engine only).
- A large white dial(RPM) will start to advance to ‘4‘ until your throttle level kicks in.
- Most have a throttle on their joystick. Otherwise change the engine thrust with Page Up and Page Down. Keypad Plus/Minus for incremental changes.
- Canopy opens/closes with CTRL-C. Mid-flight you’re likely to lose the canopy altogether.
- W applies wheel brakes as you move around the taxiway. You need to keep press them down to slow down. Tapping them once will not do the job.
- Z(left) and X(right) are used for turning with your rudder/nose wheel system (NWS) as you taxi about the airport. My preference is to also map the rudder/NWS to a joystick axis. I’ve mapped my joystick on an Rotater axis with my twisting joystick so I’ve got handy control.
- L turns on the cockpit lights for night viewing. CTRL-L turns on the on-board lights on the wings – Steady/Flash/Off
- ALT-L turns on the taxiing or gear light – it can toggle between Lowbeam, High-beam and Off.
- CTRL-H allows you to change the colours on the HUD
After careening wildly about the airport like Crazy Taxi, and ending up on the runway, you should be stopped and ready for takeoff.
Access the Tower by hitting Backslash( \ – right above the Enter key). The Comm Menu will appear. Choose F6 for Tower and then F3 to request take-off.. It’s not required to actually take off.
Turn up the throttle and then, when above 280 km/h on the HUD, pull up and hit G to lift your Gear. Take note of the flashing symbols on the left-side panel. Also note that, when you start from the runway on some missions, your flaps are already down. Toggling with F sets Flaps up/down for taking off, attacking, or landing as is the usual practice.
When viewing the most important keys are Keypad-*Asterisk and the Keypad-/Slash. They Zoom in and zoom out in All views. For external views you can also use a mouse with a scroll-wheel.. The mouse can also be used for the external view rotation. At first I found the hat-switch too slow but the speed can be changed. CTRL LEFT-SHIFT speeds up the view speed. If you’ve gone to the expense of buying the TrackIR, you can just lean back and forth and move your head.
Outside Views The Function keys (F1 to F10) are different world views.
- F1 is the most important as it puts you back into your cockpit and in touch with your instruments and weapons.
- Secondly is the F2 key which allows you to see yourself from the outside. I use this along with the Keypad-/Slash and the mouse to position a good view around me. And when you return to it, the view is set up as it was before. You can hit F2 again to cycle through to your wingman and other air assets to see their activities. Another feature that goes with that F2 view is the ability to jump into another flyable by hitting ALT-J.
- I rarely use the F3 which is the cinematic Flyby view. But play with it to see if it’s any use.
- The F4 allows a rear view to see what’s behind you. Good to view any bombs you’re dropped but cheaterish in a dogfight.
- If you shoot off a missile or bomb, F6 follows it to its final destination.
- F7 shows all the ground units. F8 – the mission targets. F12 – the Static Objects. On-line most hosts restrict external views.
- F10 gives you the Theatre Map that shows the current available air units with icons. Again it can be restricted in on-line play.
- F11 flips through the airports that are available. Remember where you’re starting from in the mission. It’s cool to see yourself on the airport.
- SHIFT-F10 turns labels on/off mid-flight. Shift-F2 – Aircraft labels toggle, Shift-F9 – Ships and ground units labels toggle
- You need to be in A2A mode if you want to padlock an aircraft with KEYPAD-DEL,
- If you’re in A2G node, a point on the terrain is padlocked.
- For toggling all missiles: SHIFT–KEYPAD–DEL and for only serious Threat missiles: ALT–KEYPAD–DEL
- KEYPAD–NumLock – Disables all padlocks.
Cockpit views Smoothly working here is a big step in keeping control of your plane and target even without padlock or TrackIR as an aid.
- Key-Pad 5 Centres the view
- Key-Pad *(Asterisk)- Zoom IN view
- Key-Pad /(Divide) – Zoom OUT view
- Key-Pad Enter – Resets the Zoom
- Key-Pad 0 – Allows you to look down. You can tap on this for a temporary view change. Coolness.
- Key-Pad 0 + another Key-Pad 1-9 (at the same Time) allows a quick zoomed view of cockpit Sections. Again Coolness
- Look at the View Modifiers in the KeyCommands document for some tricky things.
Running the Program and flying about
- Esc will pop up the usual mission exit menu but with the choice of RCVR. This allows you to rejoin the same mission from where you started.
- S stops all current activity but allows you to look around with different views.
- For long Missions – CTRL-A accelerates the sim and SHIFT-A resets it back to normal. ALT-A slows the sim down.
- J sets the auto-throttle on allowing you to maintain the speed you’re at.
- ‘ QUOTE in a mission gives your current mission status.
- To record your mission, CTRL-R starts the recording when you OPEN a mission but not in-flight.
- and for graphic geeks, CTRL-BACKSPACE shows the frame rate
- On-line you can chat to everyone with CTRL-M, your team only with ALT-M, and QUOTE gives the current list of players online and your ping.
I’ve been hit or am about to get hit
I’ve been hit
- Please lady, stop talking about it! SHIFT-N silences repeated Warnings(except those that haven’t been announced yet).
- CTRL-E several times(3) and you’ve ejected. But only if your ejection system is still working.
- There are no Fire Extinguishers. Sorry. But you can turn off flaming engines – ALT-END for the left engine. SHIFT–END for the right engine. RWIN-END for BOTH engines at once. It will allow you to struggle back to base or finish the mission.
I’m about to get hit
- Q dumps just one set of Chaff and Flares.
- E turns on ECM Electronic Counter-Measures. But that requires ECM pods in your loadout – there’s a lamp at the top on the right-side Panel of the cockpit labeled “nOMEXA” which indicates an active ECM.
- SHIFT-E, only for the Su-25T, toggles the active IR jamming system “Sukhogruz” in the tail – the green lamp is labeled “Oэn” on the front left panel above the Weapon System Control Panel.
- SHIFT-Q sets out a steady pattern of Chaff and Flares until you run out.
- ALT-R dumps your external fuel tanks. Handy if you are being chased or tagged by a Missile.
- the RWR on the right tells you about your missile and radar threats – see page 181 of the manual.
- Insert pumps out Chaff each time you hit it. You’re not unlimited in chaff and flares. Delete pumps out Flares.
With the Su-25T you get limited modes just to defend yourself.
- Hitting 6 will give you an Air-to-Air missile Mode – Usually a R-60 or R-73. Just put the Cross on the plane or helo and a loud tone-lock will notify you to fire.
- C unCaps the Cannon and displays a firing funnel on the HUD while in Air-to Air mode
- There are some cases where you can use a Vikhr missile to shoot down a helo and possibly another airplane. The routine for Vikhr air acquisition is the same as for ground objects: acquire in the TV, laser designate, and fire.
Bombs to drop/Missiles to shoot/Cannons to Fire
The Su-25T is a strong weapons platform that you should explore in the manual(starting Page 54) and with the good training tutorials included in Flaming Cliffs.
- Hitting 7 will put you into Air-to-Ground Mode – This allows many options depending on what’s weapon and systems are selected.
- D cycles through weapons available (I’ve re-mapped it to my joystick).
- I often have full flaps down when I go to the target; it gives me more time on target. SHIFT-F puts the flaps all the way down.
- O activates the Shkval TV system on the right. It’s for day-time viewing only.
- PLUS zooms in(1x/8x/23x). And the MINUS zooms out.
- adjust the target size(10 for vehicle, 60 for buildings) with CTRL-PLUS and CTRL-MINUS. For small changes – ALT-PLUS and ALT-MINUS.
- you should be able to slew the cursor about with 4 keys(COMMA, PERIOD, SLASH/, SEMI_COLON). This will be reflected in the TV monitor and by an aiming reticle on the HUD.
- TAB(I’ve re-mapped it on my joystick) locks up the general area around the target and then you can slew around for the final acquisition.
- CTRL-O activates the night vision “Mercury” TV system but only if you have the Mercury pod loaded.
- PLUS zooms in(1x/5x). And the MINUS zooms out.
- slew the cursor about with 4 keys(COMMA, PERIOD, SLASH/, SEMI_COLON) as seen on the TV monitor and HUD.
- TAB locks the target.
- I activates the SEAD – Anti-Radar system but only if you have the missiles loaded as well as the “Phantasmagoria” target designation pod.
- This allows the Su-25T to designate targets when loaded with anti-radar missiles such as the Kh-58 and Kh-25MPU. A really powerful system.
- The SAMS and Radars show up in the HUD as diamonds with ID tags below them.
- Slew the square box over the diamond and TAB locks the target. These are basically fire-and-forget missiles.
- Choosing Missiles
- Some are fire and forget like the Kh-29T for stationary targets. Just lock them up on the TV and fire. Others need laser guidance.
- Shift-O activates the Laser Target Designator. If you’ve got a missile selected, you should be able to slew the cursor about with 4 keys(COMMA, PERIOD, SLASH/, SEMI_COLON). Lock on the ground object with TAB and when the launch authorization is given, you can shoot. If it’s a moving target, slew the Laser Target Designator; it will cling to the moving target.. The missile will follow. Keep it locked on for the full flight.
- You can fire multiple missiles. You are just going to have to time it correctly. You would have 2 missiles in the air at a time. When the 1st missile hits, you can slew the TD(Target Designator) to the next vehicle. Very useful especially for the Vikhr missiles – they sometimes require 2 missiles on the same target. Doing a whole row of vehicles does take some practice.
- Shift-O also turns off the Laser Designator. You can only use it for limited time before it overheats. On the HUD will be an annoying flashing symbol to the left telling you that you cannot use the Designator until it’s cooled down. Manage your laser carefully.
- Choosing Bombs. It usually requires that the Su-25T be flown so that the pipper is placed on the target except for the TV guided bombs.
- The KAB-500KR are TV-guided bombs for stationary targets. Just lock them up on the TV and fire.
- Others use laser guidance or calculated drops. Go through the tutorials – there are CCIP and CCRP modes that need to be covered in depth.
- CTRL-SPACE changes the number of bombs released at a time. For 1 bomb at a time, that’s only available on the 4 inner-most weapons stations. The inner two pylons on each wing–4,5,7,8–will release singly. The outer pylons will always release bombs in pairs to keep the weight distribution balanced.
- V sets the Dropping Interval that gives you varying bombing spread.
- if you use it, remember that Shift-O turns off the Laser Designator.
- C turns on Cannons in Cannon mode
- SHIFT-C changes the burst from No-Limits burst and 25 round bursts
- Getting the Gunpods – keep hitting CTRL-SPACE. That toggles between the no.1(internal cannon only – HUD shows Bny), no.2 and no.4(Gunpods only with deflection – HUD shows nnp), and BC3(all guns fire with no deflection – HUD shows BCE) options.
See page 47 of the manual for a picture of the Weapon System Control(WCS) Panel.
- hitting CTRL-SPACE until you get the BCE mode gives you both gun-pods and internal cannons united. On the hud you’ll see “BCE“.
- in some modes when the SPPU Gun-pods track in unison(the nnp mode as seen on the HUD), you can deflect them with CTRL-PLUS and CTRL-MINUS. For smoother changes – ALT-PLUS and ALT-MINUS
- again use the tutorials – there are several gun modes where the Laser Designator and the gunpods can work together to pinpoint fire as you move against lightly armored targets.
- Identify the target visually.
- Switch to the air-to-ground mode by pressing the  key. Select internal gun mode by pressing
the [C] key.
- Select gun pods by pressing the [Ctrl-SPACE] key and confirm weapon selection on the HUD and
WCS panel; two gun pods will be selected. Set the ripple interval/gun pods mode to FIX mode
and the ripple quantity switch to PO2.
- If the aircraft has four gun pods loaded onboard, press [Ctrl-SPACE] once more.
- Using the ALT-PLUS and ALT-MINUS keys, alter the barrel depression angle by moving the aiming mark
along the vertical axis on HUD.
- Turn on the laser range-finder by pressing the [Shift-O] key.
- Set the interval/gun pods mode switch to PROGR mode.
- In a wings-level dive, place the aiming mark on the target and, when “LA” message appears,
open fire by pressing the weapon release button on your joystick or by pressing the [SPACE] key
on your keyboard. Avoid roll, pitch, and yaw changes while firing for better accuracy.
- Turn off the laser range-finder/target designator by pressing the [Shift-O] key.
Target/Laser Designation System designates the target using a round symbol on the HUD to mark missile and bomb targets. The basic keyboard options for moving the Target Designator System(TDS) around are:
- SEMI-COLON – TDS up
- PERIOD – TDS down
- COMMA – TDS left
- SLASH(/) – TDS right
- If you’ve have a joystick, you can remap them to the 4 ARROW keys. Or hold down ALT+ Hat-switch to move the TDS about the HUD.
Finally, you have to lock on to the target and release the weapon:
- TAB locks the target up. I’ve got that re-mapped on my joystick
- CTRL-TAB turns off tracking the target. Or you can hit TAB again.
- SPACEBAR (re-mapped) fires missiles or it releases the bombs. Some bombing modes require you to hold onto the Fire button until on target.
- Alt-W overrides launch permission especially for dumb bomb dropping.
With the Su-25T you get limited modes
- 1 will switch around the Navigation modes
- There’s the default Enroute(ENR – MPW) mode with waypoints, and when you hit 1 again you’ll get…
- the RETURN TO BASE(RTB – B3B) homing pigeon mode..
- the LANDING (LDG – NOC) mode appears by itself. You return to your base until the local air traffic control system “captures” you at the ingress point.
- ~Tilde will change waypoints for you. In Enroute mode; you’ll see the number change on the HUD. In RTB mode, ~Tilde will switch airbases when you need to land at another base.
- 2/6 will switch to Aircombat modes. You should just get a Cross to aim at an air target. Tone-lock means you can fire. Turning on the cannon in this mode gives you a funnel for firing.
- 7 will switch to Ground Attack mode
- ~Tilde will change targets. They show up as diamonds if the target itself is in the HUD view. If not in HUD view they’ll look like a
- 8 gives a basic shooting/bombing grid. Can be useful in some cases like using unguided rockets.
Trimming and Auto-pilot
There’s 6 new Auto-pilot modes for the Su-25T. The plane does auto-pilot by trimming itself with trim tabs to match the mode required. On exiting most auto-pilot modes, the trimming is bound to be incorrect and you’ll flop about. In the other planes you could cancel trim with Ctrl-T. But for the Su-25T, you can get the correct trimming by choosing the Emergency leveling mode(ALT-3), which puts you level and straight, and then exiting auto-pilot altogether with ALT-9 or A.Overall, when you use auto-pilot once, you have to use it forever more.
The manual(Pg 48-49) shows the 6-lighted auto-pilot panel on the upper left of the instrument panel plus auto-pilot explanations.
- A toggles the standard “Route-following” auto-pilot mode. It follows the waypoints with no terrain avoidance so it might crash while manoevring to the path. On RTB – B3B or LDG – NOC modes, auto-pilot stays on until you’re on the glide-slope and 50m above ground. Then Emergency Leveling Mode is used. Disengage(A) then to land.
- ALT-1 – Attitude hold stabilizes the current angles of pitch and bank. There are some limits. But is nice to get you orientated faster than other modes.
- ALT-2 – stabilizes the current Barometric altitude above sea level (ASL) and the current angle of bank. Good for making continuous level turns.
- ALT-3 – Emergency Leveling Mode levels you out and is good if you’re disorientated. It’s not a whole auto-pilot mode but just levels you out and then puts you into Barometric Altitude Hold. But it does take some time so you better have altitude.
- ALT-4 – gives Barometer Altitude Hold at the current altitude above sea level(ASL). Good for high flights over known terrain.
- ALT-5 – gives Radar Altitude Hold with automatic terrain avoidance. Much better for hugging the ground on ingress.
- ALT-6 – much like the standard auto-pilot; they could be twins.
- ALT-9 or A disables any engaged auto-pilot modes.
- ALT- ~TILDE allows you to temporarily over-ride your current pitch while keeping the same height. Holding ALT- ~TILDE down, while moving the joystick, allows you to correct the pitch.
- There’s also a Combat Steering mode. If you’ve got a target locked up on the Shkval TV system, going into an auto-pilot mode(with A) will steer the plane to that target. If you move the Shkval TD, the plane with recalculate and follow it. If you break lock, you enter Emergency Leveling Mode. Also the over-ride(ALT- ~TILDE) becomes useful to correct your pitch.
Trimming your plane just requires you to be in near-level flight. And then tap on CTRL-SEMI-COLON, CTRL-PERIOD, CTRL-COMMA, CTRL-SLASH(/), and see the magic of level flight. There are 3 lights at the bottom center of the instrument panel. Those are your neutral trim lights for aileron, elevator, and rudder trim. If they are lit, you are in neutral trim for those control surfaces.
- Fuel use – from the tests I’ve done on the Su-25T the best way to measure absolute fuel left is 100 kg of fuel = 10 km. If you’ve got 700 kg left, then 70 km is your return range. Be warned also that this is with very little Margin of error. If you cannot find the airport, you will end up crashing in a field.
- To determine the distance you can use the RTB – B3B or LDG – NOC modes when in the Target Area.
- RTB – B3B will give you an ILS intercept point of about 15km or 150 kg left to fly.
- LDG – NOC mode will give you the absolute minimum without any ILS landing aids. Likely a field landing.
- But this is not at 100% power but at 80 to 90%. If you jettision weapons after the mission is complete, you can squeeze out about 10% more fuel
- And if it’s a very long trip, you can save fuel by flying at a greater height where the air is thinner and therefore has less drag.
- Notes about loading –
full max load @ 100% power I’ve seen give 120kg/10km
full max load @ 85-90% power I’ve seen give 90kg/10kmmin load(low fuel) + weapons jettisoned will give you 75-80kg/10km
- To determine the distance you can use the RTB – B3B or LDG – NOC modes when in the Target Area.
- B Toggle airbrake. Take note of symbols on the left-side panel Airplane diagram
- F Toggle flaps up/down – Airplane diagram. SHIFT-F puts the flaps all the way down for landing and other stuff.
- G Toggle landing gear up/down – Airplane diagram
- Ctrl-W jettisons weapons in pairs(in-flight) or re-arms(ground). If you have external tanks, Ctrl-W will drop the 2 outside tanks first, then the center tank and then onto weapons.
- Alt-R will drop any and all external tanks.
- Ctrl-R Dump fuel (in-flight) or refuel (ground) (Note: Hold down key)
- Alt-R Jettison fuel tanks
- W Engage wheel brakes (ground) (Note: Hold down key)
- P Pops the parachute or you are going for a long, long ride.
- RWIN-END stops engines. Stop individual engines with ALT- and SHIFT- RWIN-END. Also you can reduce engines by ALT- and SHIFT-END.