Part of our Carriers Extended! technology, SWS Fleet Placer is a tool for placing and controlling formations of ships in your sim. It also provides extra features like warp-to-deck and flight saving and loading while on a carrier deck.
How to open SWS Fleet Placer
To find and open the Fleet Placer:
- Use the CTRL+SHIFT+S shortcut
- Bring up the FSX/P3D menu bar
- Click on the Add-ons menu
- Click on SWS Fleets
Placing a formation
To place a formation bring up SWS Fleet Placer. If no formation is currently loaded the menu will display as shown. fleet_placer_window.jpg | Caption: Fleet Placer main menu
- Select formation: select a formation of ships to place from your available formations. file fleet_placer_formations.jpg | Caption: Fleet placer formations menui
- Bearing: select a desired true bearing from your aircraft to place the ships on. This bearing also serves as their initial course.
- Distance: select the distance from you at which the ships will be placed. Ships may be placed up to 5000 nautical miles away.
- Speed: select the initial speed which the formation will make. Note that not all ships have the same max speed and choosing a higher speed than the slowest vessel will cause the formation to string out especially during course changes.
- Place formation: places the formation with the parameters selected above.
- Place and warp: places the formation and warps the aircraft to the selected parking space, if parking spaces are available on a vessel in the formation.
Controlling your formation
After you have loaded a formation the menu will be configured as shown.
- Position: will display information to help you find the fleet. This information can be displayed at any time through the key-combination CTRL+SHIFT+P.
- Steer-TTI is the magnetic heading to fly to intercept the fleet at your current true airspeed and the time to interception. It accounts for ship movement and wind.
- BRG-DIST is the current magnetic bearing to the fleet and distance in nautical miles.
- CUS-SPD is the formation formation's currently commanded base course and speed.
- Corpen: is one of two ways for the formation to change course. A "corpen" command produces a very slow turn but the ships in formation retain their relative stations that is the formation will still look the same after the turn.
- Turn: is one of two ways for the formation to change course. A "turn" command produces a high turn rate but the ships all turn at once so their relative positions in the formation will change that is the formation will look different after the turn.
- Carrier recovery corpen: uses the carrier carrier's speed and current wind conditions to steer the carrier so that the relative wind is down the angled deck. This reduces necessary crab and makes landing easier. If you select “Execute corpen xxx and follow wind” the carrier will adjust course periodically to account for changes in wind conditions and formation speed. The fleet utility is interlocked with cex so course changes will not occur while you are on final approach to a cex carrier.
- Speed: changes the base speed of the formation. if “automatic” is selected the ships will cruise at 17kts slower in heavy weather unless carrier recovery corpen is selected in which case appropriate speed will be made to put 25-30kts of wind over the deck. Clicking execute will command the selected speed.
- Sea state: changes the sea state of the formation. if “automatic” is selected the ships pitch and roll according to prevailing weather conditions. Scaling factors are present to allow you to pronounce or reduce the natural motion of the ships if desired. If Manual mode is selected, you will be able to select the sea state from calm (0) through gale force (9). You will also be able to select the axis of the wind. Clicking execute will activate the selected state.
- Warp to deck: magically places your aircraft on the deck of one of your ships if that ship has a parking spot available.
- Save parking space: is only available if your aircraft is on the deck of a properly configured ship. it will save your current location and heading on the deck as a parking spot which you can then warp to any time using the warp to deck command.
- Remove formation: removes your formation from the sim so you can load another
“Warp to deck” and “Place and warp to deck”
The fleet placer provides the ability to instantly place your aircraft on the deck of a ship. It does this through a system of "parking spots". sws ships come pre-equipped with parking spots and additional spots may be saved at any time.
To enable warp-to-deck on additional ships see #configuring ships for sws fleets.
These menu options work in the following manner:
- you will be prompted to choose between parking-equipped ships. If there is only one such ship in your formation this menu will be skipped.
- you will be prompted to choose a parking space on the selected ship. If there is only one parking space this menu will be skipped and you will find yourself directly on deck.
- the parking brake engages automatically. It is recommended that you are at idle power when you warp so that the aircraft does not simply taxi off the deck when it arrives.
Saving parking spaces
To save a parking space:
- manually position your aircraft at the desired spot on deck by taxiing, towing with the CEX deck tractor or through slew mode. Any hard deck will work including flight and hangar decks.
- open the SWS Fleets menu and select save parking spot
- you will be prompted to provide a name for the new spot
- after typing in a name and clicking OK your spot is saved and may be warped to at any time.
Adding and modifying formations
Formations for SWS Fleets are stored in %programdata%\simworks studios\carrierextensions\surfaceformations folder which may be opened through windows explorer or through a button in the CEX Aircraft Configuration App. You can access that folder by browsing to that directory or by bringing up CEX Aircraft Configuration App and clicking the "Formations Folder" button, labeled 9 in the image
Any number of formation configuration files may be placed there, in any number of subfolders and the format of the configuration files is identical to that used by AICarriers. This means that if you currently use AICarriers you may simply drag and drop any AICarriers formations folder s into the “surfaceformations” folder and they will just work.
If you save your flight through the normal simulator interface while a SWS Fleets formation is present, the formation data will also be saved. When you load the saved flight the formation will automatically be placed at its saved position, course and speed. If your aircraft was on the deck of a ship when the flight was saved you will automatically be warped to this point on the deck.
Note: because the formation data is saved separately from the simulator simulator's saved flight, it is not transferable between users. So if you send your buddy a saved flight, the formation will not automatically load on their computer when the flight is loaded.
Configuring your ships for SWS Fleets
SWS Fleets will load and operate any combination of ships from any developers with no additional steps. Configuring ships for use with SWS Fleets is covered in CEX SDK.
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