Welcome to the island of Astlan. Some of the in-game Story missions can be a little perplexing, even the “tutorial” missions. This goal of this very short flight is to give you the essentials so that you can safely do the “tutorial” missions.
The only things you need to know, or do, prior to this lesson are:
- Set up your controller the way you think you like in Settings - Controls, and
- Select “New Game” from the main menu
- Be ready to throttle down as soon as the game loads.
Startup and Control Check
CAUTION: Control axis mapping is a little confusing in FPS. The first time you fly, your controls may accidentally be set to full throttle. When your new game loads and places you on the starting pad, watch for the “Engine Start” notice in the bottom center of the screen. If you see that, immediately throttle down to zero — and realize that “throttle down” may be the opposite direction you expect!
Once you’re safely on the pad with engine off:
- You’re parked in the cargo zone at Bridgeport Base. You are going to take off, fly a few hundred meters over the canyon, stop and hover, turn around, fly back to Bridgeport, and land. It’s harder than it sounds.
- Press F1 to acknowledge the game help prompt. Flip through the screens if you want, but it's not necessary for this flight. Exit the help.
- CHECK SURROUNDINGS
- Pan the camera around and get a look around you. Notice obstacles around you, and the drop off to the canyon in front of you to the East.
- Reset the camera to front.
- ENGINE START
- Very gently throttle up until you see “Engine Start” and then DO NOT throttle up further.
- Notice the throttle indicator to the right of the heads-up display increase as you advance the throttle.
- CONTROL CHECK
- Increase throttle very slightly but not enough to lift the aircraft! (About 15 on the throttle indicator.)
- Move your pitch and bank flight controls forward/back, and left/right. Note the engines of your aircraft should move in the same direction as you move the stick. (If they do not, go fix your controls until they do.)
- Move your yaw flight controls left and right. Again you should see the engines tilt in the proper direction: Yaw left = left engine tilts backward, right engine tilts forward.
- Move your translate controls forward/back, and left/right. You should see the engines tilt the same way. (These are called “Forward/backward without pitch for VTOL” and “Translate Left/Right in VTOL mode” in Settings)
- READY FOR TAKEOFF!
- LIFT OFF
- Very gently throttle up until the aircraft begins to bump gently on the ground.
- Add just a little more throttle (set to about 50) and the aircraft will lift off the ground.
- Allow the aircraft to climb, vertically, until it is at least as high off the ground as twice its wingspan.
- Stabilize into a very slow climb by reducing/increasing the throttle very slightly as needed.
- Don’t allow the aircraft to sink, and don’t allow it to climb quickly. Don’t worry too much about drift forward/back/left/right.
- TRANSITION TO FORWARD FLIGHT
- Once you have altitude and a very slow climb rate, pitch forward gently.
- Wait for the aircraft to begin to move forward.
- Adjust pitch forward/back to speed up/slow down. Adjust throttle up/down to maintain altitude.
- Maintain a slow, steady forward speed (about 25 m/s.)
- As you reach the middle of the canyon, pitch back gently to slow down.
- Adjust throttle to maintain altitude as needed.
- Wait for the aircraft speed to reduce to near zero.
- HOVER TURN
- When the aircraft has stopped (or nearly stopped), gently yaw to the left or right. DO NOT USE ROLL.
- Keep turning until you see the base you just departed from in front of you.
- You may lose or gain some altitude in the turn. Use the throttle to adjust your altitude as needed so that the base is between a 10-degree to 30-degree down angle from you. (You don’t want to come in too high, nor too low.)
- Note the landing pad you departed from — it should show up as a white “H” symbol on your heads-up display.
- LANDING APPROACH
- Pitch forward gently and wait for the aircraft to move forward toward the base.
- Reduce the throttle slightly so that you are descending as you move toward the base.
- Aim for a spot slightly beyond the landing pad and maintain a slow forward motion and descent until you get near the base.
Landing and Shutdown
- FINAL APPROACH
- As you get within 100m of the ground, the Landing Camera will appear in the lower right of your heads-up display. Glance at it now and then but don’t fixate on it.
- As you get close to the base, pitch back gently to reduce your aircraft speed and try to stop over the landing pad.
- Pitch neutral to center position, straight and level — NO pitch or bank.
- Reduce throttle so that you are hovering, or descending very slowly.
- Use translate forward/back/left/right to keep your aircraft centered over the landing pad. Try to keep the aircraft inside the “airplane silhouette” on the ground.
- Adjust throttle to maintain a gentle descent.
- When the wheels touch the ground, reduce the throttle to idle. (About 15).
- Wait for the aircraft to stabilize on the ground (there may be a few bounces.)
- Reduce the throttle to zero. Engine shutdown.
- The landing pad should turn green. (If it doesn’t, you didn’t land within the airplane silhouette. Throttle up and yaw/translate to fix it.)
- Select the left menu (default: Right Arrow, or you can use the mouse). The Recharge option should appear.
- Notice the fuel use of your flight (bottom left of screen, battery meter)
- Recharge your aircraft to top off its fuel tank.
Congratulations! You’ve flown a “powered-lift” aircraft and are ready to become a Frontier Pilot! Head on to Flight School to learn more about flying your aircraft and using instruments, and then look at Life as a Frontier Pilot to learn more about missions and making money.