USS Midway Battlegroup

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Credits and thanks

Thank you for your interest in our Midway class package. We have tried hard to represent the look and feel of a Vietnam era battle group. First of all, we would like to let you know who the people behind the package are:

  • Alex Vletsas: Carrier model, static aircraft, ship detailing, texturing
  • Panayiotis Delizisis: Destroyer and Oiler base models, aircraft statics, texturing
  • McFarland Masterton: CarrierExtensions v2.0 application and gauge coding, physics implementation
  • Jamal Ingram: Static aircraft, ship detailing

The following sections are devoted to the product as a user manual, allowing you to utilize the carrier group to its full capability and familiarize yourself with its features.

Installation

While downloading and installing, be sure that your antivirus software is turned off, otherwise there is a high probability of a corrupt installation.

  1. The Midway class package is compatible with Flight Simulator X:Acceleration/Gold, Flight Simulator X:Steam Edition, Prepar3Dv2, Prepar3Dv3 and Prepar3Dv4. If you wish to have one installation for every simulator you own, you need to run the installer again for each one. The installer will automatically detect the path to your simulator's main folder and install the files there.
  2. If you also own the F-4B/N Phantom II, ensure that this package is (re)installed AFTER the Phantom.
  3. AI Carriers or TacPack are required for the carriers to appear ingame. Scenery tracks are also provided.
    • An AI Carriers configuration file can be found under SimWorks Studios\AICarriers in the simulator's root folder. Copy that to AI Carriers\conf.d to add the ships to the list of available formations.
  4. Be sure to run the Aircraft Configuration App after you are done with the installation, in order to enable the carrier features.

Settings

For the best possible experience we recommend the settings as shown in the images below.

  • Graphics
    • Global texture resolution: Maximum
    • Advanced animations: ON (Required)
    • Dynamic lighting: ON (Required for some P3Dv4 features)
    • Target frame rate: 30 (depending on preference it may be set higher or lower)

Package contents

The Midway class package comes with the following content:

  • Three high detail carriers
    • USS Coral Sea (1965)
    • USS Midway (1973)
    • USS Coral Sea (1973)
  • Four Mispillion fleet oilers
  • Five Charles F. Adams class destroyers
  • Four Forrest Sherman class destroyers

Major features

The Midway class package is not just the ships and escorts, but a new experience in FSX/P3D naval aviation. We have developed proprietary technology that allows you to simulate the full spectrum of carrier operations, bringing unseen-before features.

OLS/LSO

A custom Optical Landing System (OLS) has been scratch built for our carriers. The "meatball", as it is commonly referred to, works exactly like the real thing. The lights look the right size, the glideslope works according to aircraft and the cut and waveoff lights work exactly like on the real carriers. Furthermore, an LSO is there to guide you down the glideslope to a safe landing.

Arresting gear

We have circumvented the FSX/P3D arresting gear and created our own one because we had to do it right! The cables can now be caught and pulled by the tailhook during landing. Push the throttles to full and hang from the cables to make sure you're stopped, then idle and see your plane roll back and the cable falling from the hook.

Our arresting gear also fixes the nose-diving seen with some aircraft during the deceleration phase, while improving the tendency of other planes to tip-over. Now your traps will feel and look right!

Deck statics

You no longer have to switch carriers to get a different deck composition. Just bring up the window and click the desired deck spots to populate them with statics!

Custom elevators (P3D only)

Ride the elevator to the hangar. Taxi to it, click the button and just go! You don't need to wait for some timer to expire.

Tow truck

A tow truck can be called to pull you on the deck. Use your stick to drive the tug and park your plane in the tight spaces of the carrier! Use CTRL+T to spawn the tug backwards (pushing the plane) and Shift+Ctrl+T to spawn it facing forward (pulling the plane)

Aircraft Configuration App

Aircraft configuration app

Overview

The ACA will allow you to easily activate the carriers' advanced features with any aircraft in your system. In order for your carrier aircraft to work optimally with our ships, we strongly recommend going through the ACA to assign presets to your aircraft. This only has do be done once per aircraft.

After installation, an icon saying "Carrier Extensions Manager" will appear on your Desktop and Start Menu. Run it as administrator to see the Aircraft Configuration screen.

The ACA consists of eight areas, numbered in the picture:

  1. List aircraft for the selected simulator. Supported: FSX, FSX:Steam, P3Dv2-v4
  2. Manage filepaths button: in the event that your sim wasn't detected, this button will allow you to manually point ACA to your simulator's root folder
  3. Manage presets: Allows you to see presets created for various aircraft and tweak them to fine-tune them in the sim
  4. Preset from aircraft: It creates a preset automatically from the aircraft that is selected on the list
  5. Preset activator: The drop-down menu allows you to select an aircraft preset to be applied to the selected aircraft. The three checkboxes will enable the Deck Configuration gauge for our carriers (see here), allowing you to show and hide static aircraft.
  6. ACA stores information in your aircraft's panel and aircraft.cfg files. In the unlikely event that something breaks, this will revert to the last backup made by ACA.
  7. Saves settings for all aircraft that were modified
  8. Aircraft listing
    1. click to select individual aircraft for editing
    2. Ctrl+click to select multiple individual aircraft
    3. After clicking on an aircraft, Shift+Click on another one to select all aircraft between these two

Assigning presets

Preset manager

Selecting a ready-made preset

Let's assume that you broke our F-4B for FSX and want to reactivate our advanced features for it.

  1. Click on Phantom II Early in the list
  2. Shift+Click on Phantom II Late. Ensure that all three Phantoms are now marked.
  3. Go to section number 5 in the ACA and from the drop-down menu select F-4B Phantom II
  4. Under the drop-down menu, click the checkboxes of the carriers you want to activate. Let's assume Coral Sea 1965.
  5. Click "Apply to Selected"
  6. Click "Save all settings"

Your Phantom now is ready to use the cables of any one of our carriers and also has a window added that allows you to configure the deck of the 1965 Coral Sea.

Creating and modifying a preset

Let's assume that you want to make a preset for Dino Cattaneo's T-45.

  1. Find the T-45 in the list
  2. Click on the "Preset from Aircraft" button
  3. A pop-up window will appear asking you to name the preset. Type T-45 Goshawk Dino or any other name you like and click OK.
  4. The Manage presets window will come up requesting the hook pivot point and length, and three AoA values. If you have them, type them in, otherwise go to the next step.
  5. Click the Save button
  6. Click Save All settings and launch the simulator.

You will now need to go through the in-game calibration process for the tailhook and AoA.

Tailhook calibration

For the first part you need to be still:

  • In the air in slew mode
  • On the ground (slew or normal mode)
  • On a non-moving carrier
  1. Make sure your hook is UP
  2. In the menu bar, go to the Add-ons menu and select SWS Midway class carriers.
  3. In the menu that will appear click on Calibration Mode
  4. Go to spot view and you should see a yellow rod and a horseshoe cutting through your plane. The rod is to be aligned with the tailhooks point of rotation. The horseshoe is supposed to align with the hook's tip. Use the following controls to adjust the parts to your plane's hook:
    • The arrow keys or numpads 2,8,4 and 6 are used to move the rod down, up, forward and aft respectively.
    • The Numpad + and numpad - are used to move the horseshoe farther out or closer to the rod (hook length)
    • Shift+numpad + and Shift+Numpad - will rotate the "virtual" hook down and up

The second part is to do this for the hook in the extended position. Extend the hook and get in the air in slew mode. Ensure that the hook is FULLY EXTENDED.

Repeat the previous steps for the extended hook and when done exit calibration mode.

The photos below illustrate key parts of the process:

AoA calibration

While inflight (not in slew mode or on the ground) enter calibration mode as before

  1. Get in the air and fly the plane in landing configuration (full flaps, gear down).
  2. Manouever the plane until the moment that only the "too slow" light stays on.
  3. Hit the Spacebar key and the "too slow" angle of attack will be stored automatically
  4. Manouever the plane until the moment that only the "too fast" light stays on.
  5. Hit Shift+Spacebar and the "too fast" angle of attack will be stored automatically
  6. Manouever the plane to a high angle of attack, until you are close to getting a stall warning
  7. Hit Shift+Spacebar and the "waveoff" angle of attack will be stored automatically

Go back to the carrier options menu and exit calibration mode.

You have just created a preset for this aircraft type and can now mass-assign it to other aircraft of the same type using the Aircraft Configuration App, without exiting the simulator. Your plane is now configured and all you have to do is reload the aircraft in the sim. This plane model is done, you don't have to calibrate it again.

Deck Configurator Gauge

Carrier Extensions Manager

The deck configurator allows you to dynamically update the carrier deck with static aircraft, a first in Flight Simulator X and Prepar3D!

  1. The DC is dominated by the carrier layout, which provides an overhead image of the carrier and the static aircraft on it. Over the deck are eleven yellow circles, which allow the user to show/hide arrays of static aircraft when clicked. This way, a user can create several custom configurations to his/her liking.
  2. At the bottom left and center are five knobs which control the carrier's three elevators, hangar doors and deck lighting:
    • Elevator No.1 is the foremost one
    • Elevator No.2 is located immediately behind the superstructure
    • Elevator No.3 is located port, behind the FLOLS
    • Closing the hangar doors will hide static aircraft located in the hangar. This was done in an effort to improve performance for older systems and those not interested in traversing the hangar.
    • During daytime you can turn on the lights on the deck and the spotlights (P3Dv4 only!) manually by clicking on the DECK LIGHTS switch. At dusk the deck lights turn on automatically, so this switch is only used to control the spotlights.

At the bottom right is a small paper sheet, containing predefined configurations for the static aircraft. Clicking on one of them overrides any custom settings on the carrier layout and vice versa.

NOTE #1: The latest changes in the CEM settings are saved in %Localappdata%\CarrierExtensions\Configuration.json and are reloaded every time you restart the sim. NOTE #2: The hangar doors will close automatically when the winds are higher than 27 knots.

Finding the carriers

Carrier tracks that place the two 1973 carriers along with their battle groups at Yankee Station are automatically installed.

  • Coral Sea 1973
    • Starting point: N18° 21.418' E107° 21.074', 0:00GMT
    • Ending point: N19° 25.030' E107° 18.852', 3:11GMT
  • Midway 1973
    • Starting point: N18° 7.095', E107° 33.586', 0:00GMT
    • Ending point: N19° 10.708' E107° 31.364', 3:11GMT

An AI Carriers file containing pre-built formations is also included under (FSX or P3D root)\SimWorks Studios\AICarriers. Copying the file to your AICarriers conf.d folder will make the formations appear in your AI Carriers menu.

Approaching the carriers

  1. Ensure your plane is in carrier landing configuration or you will get warnings from the LSO
  2. At 1.5nm behind the carrier the LSO will communicate with you | Paddles contact
  3. At 0.75nm behnid the carrier, press Shift+B to call the ball | Roger ball
  4. Follow the ball and LSO guidance down the glideslope for a successful arrest
  5. Upon touching the deck, move throttles to full to be ready in the event of a bolter
  6. If the arrest is successful, return the throttles to idle to allow the cable to disengage

Using the tow truck

While on deck, press CTRL+T or SHIFT+CTRL+T to call the tow truck. The first combination spawns the truck facing towards the aircraft, while the second spawns it facing away. Use your Joystick to drive the truck:

  • Forward movement: truck drives forward
  • Rear movement: truck drives in reverse
  • Left/Right: steer the wheel

WARNING: Avoid using the truck in multiplayer. The truck can be removed for you but will stay present for the other players.

Ship titles for AI Carriers

Use the below title strings to create your own ship formations in AI carriers

  • CVA-41 USS Midway 1973
  • CVA-43 USS Coral Sea 1973
  • AO-108 USS Pawcatuck
  • AO-105 USS Mispillion
  • AO-106 USS Navasota
  • DD-945 USS Hull
  • DD-933 USS Barry
  • DDG-16 USS Joseph Strauss
  • DD-940 USS Manley
  • DD-937 USS Davis
  • DDG-18 USS Semmes
  • DDG-19 USS Tattnall
  • DDG-15 USS Berkeley
  • AO-107 USS Passumpsic
  • DDG-17 USS Conyngham
  • DD-931 USS Forrest Sherman
  • DD-936 USS Decatur