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Midway Battlegroup

Disclaimer

This product is an artistic representation of the subject matter. SimWorks Studios Ltd. does not endorse or is endorsed in any way by the manufacturer of the subject matter. The subject matter and is simulated within the limitations of the Flight Simulator X/Prepar3D SDK and the product and/or its manuals are not to be used as a substitute for real-world training.

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
  • MacFarland Masterton: CarrierExtensions v2.0 application and gauge coding, physics implementation
  • Jamal Ingram: Static aircraft, ship detailing


The following sections serve as the user manual, allowing you to utilize the carrier group to its full capability and familiarize yourself with its 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)
Graphics setting

Graphics setting

Aircraft settings

Aircraft settings

Aircraft settings

Sound settings

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 class 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, with realism hitherto unseen.

Deck configuration gauge

NOTE: The Midway class carriers are NOT COMPATIBLE with the new Dynamic Deck Editor that appears under Add-ons->SWS Carriers->Deck config. This package uses the legacy panel system that appeared in the initial release.

A deck configuration gauge allows you to control ship elevators, turn the lights on or change the deck state by spawning groups of aircraft around the deck. This first in flight simulation allows you to quickly configure your carrier to a desired situation without having to "swap" ships in-sim, breaking the immersion.

Realistic moving deck

Ships will pitch, roll and yaw based on the current sea state. Our sophisticated physics algorithms are based on real US Navy data and will simulate ship movement based on the ship’s geometry and displacement, wind speed, wind direction and wave height.

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 angle is adjustable, hook-to-eye correction varies according to aircraft type, 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 because we had to do it right! The cables can now be caught and pulled by the tailhook during landing. On hitting the deck, push the throttles to full power 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 eliminating the tendency of tail-draggers and other planes to tip-over. Now your traps will feel and look right!

 

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.

vLSO implementation (experimental)

vLSO interfaces with SWS’ CEX technology, overriding our own LSO with Serge Luzin’s great iteration!

SWS’ installers always include the latest version of vLSO, but due to being separate developments, vLSO & CEX implementation is still considered experimental and may not work for all users.

Deck Tractor

A deck tractor can be called to pull you on the deck. Use CTRL+T to spawn the tug backwards (pushing the plane) and Shift+Ctrl+T to spawn it facing forward (pulling the plane), then use your elevator and aileron controls to drive the tug and park your plane in the tight spaces of the carrier! A tip when pushing an aircraft: look down the nose of the aircraft in spot view and keep the towbar in a straight line with the aircraft's fuselage.

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 profiles and deck-configuration gauges to your aircraft. Currently, CEX will automatically set up profiles for the following aircraft:

  • Aerosoft F-14 Tomcat
  • ALPHA RA-5C Vigilante
  • AlphaSim A-3 SkyWarrior
  • Dino's F-14D
  • Dino's F-35 Lightning
  • Dino's S-3B Viking
  • Dino's T-45
  • FSXA F/A-18C
  • FSXBA F/A-18C
  • MV F-4J/S Phantom II
  • Piglets A-1 Skyraider
  • RAZBAM A-6 and EA-6
  • RAZBAM A-7 TacPack
  • RAZBAM A-7 (Vol.1 & 2)
  • RAZBAM TA-7 (Vol.3)
  • SOH C-1A Trader
  • SWS F-4B/N Phantom II
  • Virtavia A-4 Skyhawk
  • Virtavia A-6E Intruder
  • Virtavia AJ-2 Savage
  • Virtavia E-2C Hawkeye
  • Virtavia EA-6B Prowler
  • Virtavia F3H Demon
  • Virtavia F4D Skyray
  • Virtavia F11F Tiger
  • VRS Superbug
Aircraft configuration app

Aircraft configuration app

However, it is recommended that you run the ACA before using the carriers, check your aircraft profile assignments, and add deck configuration gauges to the aircraft panels as desired.

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
    4. Clicking on the checkboxes under carrier names will install the deck configuration for the respective carrier in that aircraft's panel
  9. Opens the formations folder where you can place AI Carriers-type cfg files containing ship formations for placement

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.

Preset manager

Preset manager

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-cable alignment

For the first part you need to be stationary:

  • In the air in slew mode (recommended)
  • 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 Carriers.
  3. In the menu that will appear click on Calibration Mode
  4. Select the "Calibrate Tailhook" option
  5. 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 video & photos below illustrate key parts of the process:

How to find the carrier options menu

How to find the carrier options menu

Carrier options menu

Carrier options menu

Hook calibration tools

Hook calibration tools

AoA calibration

While inflight go to the calibration menu like before and select "Calibrate AoA"

  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
Too slow AoA indication

Too slow AoA indication

Too fast AoA indication

Too fast AoA indication

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.

Assigning presets - video tutorials

Deck Configuration Gauge

The deck configuration 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.

Carrier Extensions Manager

Carrier Extensions Manager

 

Finding the carriers

SWS Fleet Placer

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

OR

  • 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

  1. Select formation: select a formation of ships to place from your available formations. file fleet_placer_formations.jpg | Caption: Fleet placer formations menui
  2. Bearing: select a desired true bearing from your aircraft to place the ships on. This bearing also serves as their initial course.
  3. Distance: select the distance from you at which the ships will be placed. Ships may be placed up to 5000 nautical miles away.
  4. 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.
  5. Place formation: places the formation with the parameters selected above.
  6. 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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
  1. Warp to deck: magically places your aircraft on the deck of one of your ships if that ship has a parking spot available.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Saving flights

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.

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.

Troubleshooting

  • USS Coral Sea (1973) cannot be placed
  1. Re-install the Midway Package. If you own the SWS F-4B/N Phantom, the Midway Class must be installed AFTER the Phantom.
  • Arresting gear, LSO, and Deck configuration gauges all fail to work, "SWS Carriers" menu is not present in sim under "Addons".
  1. Re-install the Midway Package.
  2. If problem persists, troubleshoot your dll.xml file.
  • Arresting gear cannot be engaged.
  1. In the "SWS Carriers" addon menu, check that Calibration Mode is OFF - traps are not possible while calibration mode is enabled.
  2. Try retracting and re-extending the tailhook.
  3. Enter calibration mode, and check that the yellow calibration bar and wire appear at their correct positions with hook retracted and extended. If not, assign a profile if necessaryre-calibrate the hook position, and remember to exit calibration mode.
  • Catapult launch speed is too fast or too slow, or aircraft does not launch at all
  1. If you are running VRS TacPack, be sure that the catapult options ("Custom Endspeed" and "Fix Disconnects") are disabled.
  2. Use the CEX configuration app to adjust the minimum and maximum launch weights and speeds, then reload the aircraft. When catapult weights and speeds are not found in the CEX aircraft profile, CEX attempts to calculate reasonable values from information in aircraft.cfg. However this does not work for all aircraft.
  • LSO waveoff occurs before "roger ball".
  1. Your approach is too tight, adjust your turn to roll out more than a half-mile aft of the carrier.
  • LSO waveoff consistently occurs immediately after "roger ball".
  1. Calibrate your approach Angle of Attack.
  • Landings with a centered meatball consistently result in bolter or 1-wire.
  1. Check your flight technique. Remember:
    1. The ball is only correct if you are lined-up and on-speed (as on the real carrier).
    2. The position of the ball at the moment of touchdown is what matters. It is very easy to fly the majority of the approach with the ball centered, and then drop or float in the last few seconds, just when you're congratulating yourself.
    3. Note that, if you are in spot view in FSX or FSX Steam, the meatball represents your eyepoint position, NOT the position of the aircraft.
  2. Check your tailhook calibration, and your AoA calibration. Both of these calibrations are necessary for the correct calculation of hook-to-eye distance.

Ship titles included in the package

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
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