War Thunder

PSA: A reminder that planes such as the F-100 and F-86 did NOT have a radar lead computing gunsight.

warthunder 6 - PSA: A reminder that planes such as the F-100 and F-86 did NOT have a radar lead computing gunsight.

There seems to be a lot of confusion, what with the addition of tracking radars on aircraft such as the F3D Skyknight and the Mitsubishi T-2, regarding which jets also have radar tracking capabilities.

Aircraft such as the F3D and T-2, just as they did in real life, have the ability to track the distance, velocity and heading of a target. This allows the tracking radar to show the aggressor pilot exactly where to aim via a lag or lead indicator. In situations such as these, the radar is showing you where to aim based on the movement of the defending aircraft.

Aircraft such as the F-84, F-86 and F-100 still have a plain old gyroscopic gunsight. This gyroscopic gunsight is aided via a very simple ranging radar that does nothing but determine the distance between the defending aircraft and your own, and adjusts the gunsight accordingly. This radar ranging/gyro gunsight combination does not give lead. Instead, it simply shows you the ballistic trajectory, or where your bullets will go, depending on your range to target and the movement of your own aircraft, not the defending aircraft.

Please note that whatever solution a radar ranging gyroscopic gunsight gives you is not a lag indicator. Lag and lead indicators rely on the movement of the defending aircraft in order to calculate their solutions. The only thing calculated on the F-84, F-86 and F-100 is where your rounds will go according to your own current movement, not your enemy's. If your target starts maneuvering slightly upwards, the gyro gunsight in any of the aforementioned aircraft will not move a single millimeter until you move your aircraft to follow your target. It's not a lead calculating system as we know it, but a ballistic calculating system.

In a sense, this gunsight has already been implemented in the game, and has been implemented for a very, very long time. If you go into cockpit view on any of the above aircraft, you'll notice that your gunsight moves and adjusts according to your own movements. The only problem with this is that you can't manually adjust the range to match your target, there's no radar to adjust the range for you, and god knows what range it's set to by default.


Now, since this feature already exists in a semi-functional capacity in cockpit view, there has to be some way to implement it in third person and virtual cockpit. Much like the game gives you a lead indicator in 3rd person for the T-2, MiG-19PT and F3D, I propose Gaijin implement a modern gun funnel into the user interface; which looks a little like this.

634px HUD AA GUN Funnel - PSA: A reminder that planes such as the F-100 and F-86 did NOT have a radar lead computing gunsight.

It would adjust according to the movement of your own aircraft, which is exactly what the gyroscopic gunsight in the cockpit does, and could also show you where to position the enemy aircraft inside the funnel. Lower inside the funnel the farther away they are, and higher inside the funnel the closer they are.

You can see how the funnel works in this video. It's from a separate flight sim, but it works the same way in real life. https://youtu.be/pWqZnFj01KU?t=224

Lastly, as a bonus, the Sparrow's used on the variant of the F3D we currently have ingame were not radar guided. They were beam riding. They did not adjust course or look for any reflections coming off the target aircraft, they only looked behind to make sure they were still inside the radar beam of the firing aircraft.

Think of it like shining a flashlight into the sky. The missile has a seeker on the back of it that only serves to make sure it's still inside the beam of light that it came from. The only problem is that radar beams and light from a flashlight get wider and wider with distance, so after a short distance the area in which the missile can be in gets bigger and bigger, and it may not be anywhere near the target. This is why most modern beam riding weapons like the Vikhr use laser beams instead of radar beams, because laser light won't spread out as badly over distance.

Sources: https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1953/1953%20-%200068.PDF


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