A little disappointed with the F-15



  • A little disappointed with the F-15

    Hello there,
    I bought this addon through the MS store and paid 40 Euro for it on june 6th 2021. Must say that I expected more for the money. Disclaimer: I've never flown the real F-15, but nevertheless, I now rate it at 2 out of 5. This sim clearly needs work.

    1. Vertical climb on afterburner should be sustainable. It is not.
    2. On high speed/high g turns (80 degree bank, full backstick) the aircraft should be stable. It is not. It often rolls into a spin by itself, which is fatal at low altitudes.
    3. Stall behavior. I think it should buffet, become mushy on the stick and possibly sound an alarm when stall is imminent. It does not.
    4. The altitude ladder in the HUD scrolls from bottom to top when climbing. (mind the disclaimer) but should it not be top to bottom in de ascend?
    5. The F-15 has an airbrake. There must be a control for it in the cockpit. But where? It does not say in the manual. Nevertheless, a key binding in MSFS2020 to the "spoiler" will work.
      Talking about the cockpit, quite a few switches are inop. And the displays will only give a static picture (as far as I've been able to find out.) No radar, no weapons (which is not a problem), no HSI.
      Sound. Airbrake deployment is silent. I bet it should not be!
      Engine revs up too fast, it should take some time to catch up with the (full) throttle input. And I'm not hearing the afterburner thunderous roar. Not even outside the aircraft.
      The HUD. What can i say. It basically is a transparent flat display, positioned roughly where it should be. This HUD as it is, would be unusable for targeting purposes since it deforms with perspective when you change the viewpoint. And I find it unreadable, unless i'm flying level. in the F-15C the HUD display is larger than the screen should be (between the posts) and the teksts (altitude, rate of climb) overlap, making them unreadable. The airspeed in the HUD is unreadable against a sky background, not enough contrast. Can one change the color of the tekst? Nope! In VR (which is a joy for this aircraft, BTW) the HUD display is even less readable.
      I've seen much better models. In many ways this model is a disappointment. Possibly DC design (Just Flight) will improve it. They're known for excellent models and they have a reputation to keep up. (remember the C-130 sim back in the day?)
      Hence my rating 2 out of 5. It is overpriced for what it is at this time. But i'm keeping it because i trust Just Flight will polish it in the future.
      --Xander


  • @XaJa Hi, thanks for your feedback.

    1. The F-15C can in fact accelerate in a vertical climb, but aircraft weight is everything. If you have more mass than thrust, it isn't going to happen. F-15s flown in air displays have no external stores and fly with less than half internal fuel to increase their performance.
    2. Full back-stick in the real world would also initiate a spin, in many aircraft for that matter - control is required. Real aircraft are G-limited depending on weight. 9G turns are possible but just as with the real aircraft, they are for short bursts only and cannot be sustained.
    3. I agree, however we are limited by the MSFS flight model characteristics and buffet stall is not modelled in MSFS as far as I am aware. A stall horn is available but not fitted to this aircraft as I have no evidence the real one has one either.
    4. This is correct, it's on the list for being changed in a future update, but we're working on an HTML HUD at the moment which is much better, hence why it has not yet been altered.
    5. The airbrake control in the real aircraft is part of the HOTAS system on the throttle - finding that little switch with a mouse is not really practical, so it's required to slave it to a joystick or throttle button. There is no sound audible in the real aircraft with spoiler deployment.
    6. The sounds for the F-15 are by Sim Acoustics and are very loud, especially in afterburner, so not sure what's happening there but they're fine for most users.
    7. The HUD display collimation is not possible in MSFS. Furthermore, using a tinted HUD glass to increase visibility resulted in customers complaining that night flying was thus made more difficult, so it was removed. The display also tears when the sim is in TAA mode - use DAA mode for a clear HUD. Asobo is aware of this but no fix has been provided yet.
    8. The HSI is fully functional in all four aircraft, but displays are kept to a minimum at this time as MSFS struggles with multiple display screens in terms of FPS - there are 11 screens in the F-15E but it still runs at 45 FPS which is pretty good as the stock Learjet barely makes 30 FPS with only two screens.
    9. The F-15s are on their fourth update at present, and will continue to be improved over time as more is learned and more functions are brought into MSFS.
    10. The F-15s are clearly marketed for the casual user, and not for study-level fans. Non-functional switches and displays / systems reflect that, although more will be brought on-line as time passes and more functions become available.


  • Hi DC, thank you for your elaborate feedback. Much appreciated!
    Further about the HUD, have you noticed that it becomes completely unreadable under icing conditions?
    And a question, what about the mirrors in the cockpit? Will these be animated in the future?
    I am surprised to learn that the airbrake does not introduce a sound .... can't explain that! Slowing down from 600 kts to 250 in under a minute. Can you imagine the energy it needs to dissipate in that time? Silently? hmmm.
    Please test the behaviour of the sim with the high g turn as mentioned. It will sometimes roll in the opposite direction of the turn. (depending on which wing stalls first, I imagine) It is not something that I've come across IRL. A spiral dive would be more likely under these conditions. However, a spiral dive is not a stalled condition.
    Indeed, I am not the "casual player" you refer to. But then, the pricing is not exactly "casual" either.
    Looking forward to updates in the future.
    Best regards,
    XaJa


  • JF Staff

    @XaJa

    But then, the pricing is not exactly "casual" either.

    It's £27. I think for something 'Not Casual' you would expect to pay a lot more. Hawk and Tornado are £33 and they are very cheap by modern standards because their prices originated in the FSX era.
    The F-15 is excellent value and I think that's reflected in its popularity.



  • @XaJa Yeah, the icing obscures the HUD unfortunately, it's to do with using the older style XML HUD projection method - once we get going with HTML HUDs, that will stop happening.

    Mirrors are fixed and reflections are basic - that's MSFS though, it reflects only a simple environment image rather than the actual surroundings, which is a shame as the sim seems capable of more. I take it that you have read the changelogs - you can switch between fixed image mirrors and reflective mirrors?

    The airbrake in real life will of course produce a sound, but that sound is not audible to the pilot, well forward of it and wearing a helmet.

    The high-G turn and wing stall is interesting, I'll have a look at that, although of course we're limited by the MSFS aerodynamics, and the F-15 is at this time by far the most realistic high-performance modern fighter in MSFS so it's probably pushing the limits of what Asobo have created 🙂

    As Derek says, the Eagles were priced at this for a year in FSX and Prepar3D and nobody batted an eye-lid and in fact they were considered a bargain as there are four types included. It's only since MSFS that lower price expectations have appeared, as typically DLC for modern games often involves "skins" and minor "add-ons" that are priced accordingly. For MSFS we're talking about full aircraft that take months, sometimes years to build - the value content is very different. $40 for the package is $10 per aircraft, not that bad at all I don't think.

    I think a rating of 2/5, after all I've pointed out, is what's a bit unfair really.