1. #1
    I haven't played this game for awhile. There is one thing I haven't been able to ever figure out: how does one navigate? I know there is a map in-game, I know there is a map in the briefing, and I also know that some planes have navigation-type compasses. So, how does one navigate when no information is provided without using a map?
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  2. #2
    AndyJWest's Avatar Senior Member
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    Well, without a map you either have to know the area well, use dead reckoning, or get vectors via 'radio' Pressing Tab, 8, 2 will get you a vector to base:


    Tab, 8, 3 should get you a vector to target, though I've never used this.

    Note that the vector given is rounded down to the nearest 30-degree interval, so the base in the pic could be anywhere from 210 degrees to 239 degrees. I normally add 15 degrees to the direction given, and steer that. You need to recheck regularly, particularly as you get close to home.

    Depending on difficulty settings, the map may or may not have a position indicator on it. I cant see any real objection to using a map without indicators - it is probably realistic, as most fighter aircraft have map compartments and pilots would be expected to be able to use them.
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  3. #3
    danjama's Avatar Senior Member
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    On many maps you can also use landmarks, such as rivers, forests and villages, and match them up to the shapes/sizes on your minimap.
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  4. #4
    M_Gunz's Avatar Banned
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    I knew a man who occasionally delivered airplanes from Kansas east. He followed train tracks and roads and watched
    for roofs with big arrows painted on them. The arrows point to an airport. That and his maps was his main nav.

    I use the heading to base (a transmitter there?) to tell me what wedge of the map to try and match features I see
    from cockpit. Rivers and mountains are good, forests good, cities and airfields though are gold. Roads and railways
    ain't too bad either, they lead somewhere.
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  5. #5
    AndyJWest's Avatar Senior Member
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    I knew a man who occasionally delivered airplanes from Kansas east. He followed train tracks...
    A very old navigational technique, though not without it's hazards. As I recall, one of the first airline accidents occured through two planes following the same track in opposite directions.

    The IL-2 In-game map is fairly basic, but there is often enough detail to figure out where you are if you have a rough idea already, and have a fair bit of altitude. It's not much help looking for a carrier in the middle of the Pacific though. There, a 'vector to base' is about all you have to go on.
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  6. #6
    Zeus-cat's Avatar Senior Member
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    You can actually do it like they did in real life.

    1) Measure the distances and angles on the map in the briefing.

    2) Then calculate how long you need to fly each leg at a certain speed (make sure you use actual speed to determine the time and then convert that to indicated speed to account for altitude.)

    3) Use a watch to time yourself for each leg.

    If you are careful and accurate you can fly missions without the mini-map.
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  7. #7
    M_Gunz's Avatar Banned
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    Accounting for wind-drift.
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  8. #8
    Originally posted by M_Gunz:
    I knew a man who occasionally delivered airplanes from Kansas east. He followed train tracks and roads and watched
    for roofs with big arrows painted on them. The arrows point to an airport. That and his maps was his main nav.

    I use the heading to base (a transmitter there?) to tell me what wedge of the map to try and match features I see
    from cockpit. Rivers and mountains are good, forests good, cities and airfields though are gold. Roads and railways
    ain't too bad either, they lead somewhere.
    In IL2 I have followed a train track, road and rivers to targets before, quite successfully. I have studied the map in game first, map notes of the landmarks then follow that.

    Of course, i have used bearings too and always know which way heads to friendly lines on the compass so that if I get lost, I know just to keep heading 090 (or whatever it is) until I`m out of danger. If the compass gets hit i`m in real trouble. Hmmm. Just occured to me I could try using the sun to navigate in those cases.

    The vector headings also work very well, especially getting you back to base, but this didn`t exist until the 4.08 Patch, I believe.

    That doesn`t mean I don`t get lost. I do, especially if I meet contacts on the way or have to divert from the arranged course, or if in bad weather.

    I do like flying this way as it feels so much like the experiences the real guys had when navigating and it`s amazing how many of them kept getting lost!
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  9. #9
    The in game map will always be available, however, depending on your difficulty, you will see a map with no icons to include your own plane.
    It is up to you to look around and get a visual reference on your position.
    This is something we call "terrain association" in the military.
    Just look around to any identifiable terrain features and look for the same thing on your map.
    Once you get used to doing this, is generally does not take too long to figure our where you are.
    It also is a big help to know the point on the map you are starting from.
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  10. #10
    FYI, the official term for following train tracks, rivers, landmarks, etc. is "pilotage".

    Zues, "real" navigation on maps that aren't 1:1 scale is more difficult and distances aren't normally given in briefings. In fact, I don't know of any way to reliably calculate distances from the mission briefings or while in flight.
    Suggestions?
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