Author Topic: Tips and tricks for flying well  (Read 13802 times)

Offline YoMama

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Tips and tricks for flying well
« on: April 17, 2017, 08:20:02 am »
Overview



Introduction

I've noticed that nowadays, very few players understand how to fly aircraft, which is a sad thing. I fly a bit, so I've decided to create a list of tips and tricks that will hopefully help you improve your flying. I will be updating this as I think of things to add and record them- if anyone has suggestions for improvement, let me know.

I learned the basics of flying by dogfighting with Red_Baron, who flew Rustlers in PTP long ago. By closely watching what he did, I learned, adapted his techniques, then improved on them and came up with my own. Since it worked for me, I'm going to try to make this as visual as possible.

I am not a pilot in real life, but I have long had a fascination with flight. I will be using accurate terms for the different parts of the aircraft and flight maneuvers, so if you don't know what things like ailerons and elevators are, for example, you know what to do!

I use a PS2-style controller to play the game, which is why I suck on the ground. It doesn't give me any special advantage that can't be gained by reconfiguring the keyboard controls. Mostly I use it because I'm used to it. The only reason I mention this is because I may make mistakes when giving keys for certain maneuvers.

I will be focusing mainly on fixed-wing aircraft for now, but I will probably expand to helicopters.

The greatest gift I could get out of doing this would be for you to use these tricks against me. If your /duty allows you to and you feel like trying something I've shown in this guide on me, by all means do.
Just don't be surprised if I fight back!



Basic aircraft information
  • If an aircraft has retractable wheels, they can be raised by pressing the sub-mission button (check your settings- this is usually the 2 key).
  • Aircraft smoke and eventually explode after they reach less than 250.0 health. To see your vehicle's health, altitude, and other information (and that of others), use /dl.
  • PTP has an eject function, which can be used with the /ej or /eject commands, or by pressing Y. This is only available for the Hydra and Rustler
  • Although the aircraft will start smoking when it reaches 250.0 HP, it doesn't explode immediately. If you're in the air and don't hit the ground or other objects once you've started smoking, then you have about 30 seconds to get out, in total. You will see flames on the aircraft once you have 5 seconds left to get out. Holding enter or stalling the aircraft and holding enter will often blow you up in it- to avoid this, pick up speed before you use enter or use the eject function.
  • All fixed-wing aircraft, with the exception of the Skimmer, instantly explode on a hard impact to the engine area or after prolonged sliding on the ground. This makes the Skimmer ideal for ramming, though you might damage it so badly doing so that it won't fly again.
  • Stalling in San Andreas occurs when you pull up (hold the down arrow) without enough airspeed to climb, so your aircraft falls. Stalls can be used to descend slowly with minimal forward movement, or to fly extremely slowly, or to turn quickly, among other things. See this video for more.
  • All fixed-wing aircraft have a ceiling of 800 altitude, which you can see with /dl. Beyond that, the engine(s) can't be used to get them any higher, so they eventually stall uncontrollably until they get back to 800. However, with enough momentum, it's possible to get Rustlers to around 850, and jets even higher.
  • Helicopters can hover at 815 altitude because their engines can pull them up slightly higher, but they can still be reached by other aircraft, as mentioned before.
  • Helicopters autolevel if you press the horn button. Holding accelerate and decelerate allows you to lose altitude while still moving forward. Pressing the sub-mission button turns on the lights of a Police Maverick.
  • The Leviathan can land on water. This can be very useful for picking up people who are stranded.
  • Aircraft and all other vehicles are not lagcomped, except for when someone on foot shoots at them. This means that you have to lead-aim when shooting with your aircraft's guns, which you can see me doing in my videos (this is called "deflection" in real life). It also allows you to lag-ram other players.
  • Never do /para while surfing on an aircraft (surfing meaning standing on the aircraft). Why? If the pilot loses altitude too quickly or makes a tight turn, the parachute will activate because it thinks you're falling and you will die. Instead, copy "/para" into your clipboard, and when you fall, quickly paste it into the chat to get a parachute.
  • Generally speaking, don't put the wheels down unless you plan on landing. With the exception of diving on someone, where they can work as an airbrake (they limit your speed), they serve little purpose apart from making it more difficult to accelerate out of a dangerous situation. It's a common habit to put them down in the belief that they will help you turn- Red_Baron did this. Don't bother. It makes it obvious that you don't really know what you're doing. If you want to turn faster, use a stall turn or hold the brake key.
  • Use the rudder in conjunction with the ailerons to turn sharply (the rudder is controlled by the look left and right keys, usually Q and E). You will turn much faster this way, and you can see the difference it makes in my videos.
  • Listen closely to the engine sounds of aircraft in San Andreas, as they can tell you a lot about what is happening that you might not notice otherwise. In the videos below, you'll hear the change in engine noise as I stall and do other maneuvers- remember these changes and use them to help you duplicate what I do in the videos.
  • I often quickly look behind me to center the camera, which you'll see in the videos. I always try to keep my opponent in view- the camera movement you see is not anything special for the videos.
  • You may want to reconfigure your keyboard so you can look around with the mouse while being able to use all driving buttons with the other hand, as being able to see your opponents and obstacles is one of the most important parts of dogfighting and the game in general.



Basic flying videos

Stalling
The parachute glitch
A trick to slow a descent and stop forward movement
Landing using the previous trick to brake
Flying backwards
Flying backwards II: Taking off
Flying backwards III: Through a tunnel
Catching someone who is using a parachute
Transferring someone to another plane, part I
Transferring someone to another plane, part II
Driveby from a Dodo
Lag ramming another plane for an instant kill
How lag ramming works on the ground
Kamikaze




The Rustler

The Rustler is an amalgam of several WWII fighter planes, though it most closely resembles the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and the North American P-51 Mustang. It has six M4 guns, retractable wheels, and is the fastest propeller-driven airplane in the game.

General information:
  • In competent hands, the Rustler is the best vehicle for air-to-air combat. The Hydra's guided missiles are useless against it if the pilot knows how to dodge them, and its unguided missiles are extremely difficult to use against an airborne target. The Rustler is extremely effective against ground targets in cars, less effective against motorcycles, and depending on the environment can be good against players on foot.
  • The Rustler actually has a smaller wingspan than some smaller planes, like the Dodo and Cropduster. This means it can fit into tighter spaces.
  • It takes 63 shots of an M4 to destroy another vehicle at 1000HP (each shot takes 12 damage).
  • Always be working to get behind an opponent when dogfighting- never run if you can avoid it. They can't shoot you if you're not in front of them, though you can shoot them if you're behind them. Always try to maintain an altitude advantage as well, as this can make even a much more skilled pilot easy prey.
  • The Dicta Boelcke, dogfighting tactics developed by German ace Oswald Boelcke during World War I, are good rules to follow. Obviously San Andreas is not World War I, but looking at flying in GTA through Boelcke's viewpoint was one of the turning points in my ability to shoot down pilots in PTP like Red_Baron back when I first started in the wonderful world of flight in SA:MP.


PTP oldie ReibenIniesta coming in for a ram

Example videos:
Rustler dogfight, with ramming and air-to-ground attacking
Taking down a Hydra with a Rustler
Taking down a helicopter
Shooting down a Shamal
Attacking a vehicle with a gunner on top
Attacking a motorcycle
Attacking a motorcycle II: ramming multiple motorcycles and chasing the President
Attacking a motorcycle III: Attacking a vehicle in a difficult environment
Attacking someone falling with a parachute
Picking someone up from the ground while flying
Swooping down to quickly finish someone off
Flying through tight spaces I: downtown San Fierro
Flying through tight spaces II: bridge struts
Flying through tight spaces III: sideways, through the river canyon, and through a tunnel. Also includes Rustler wheels, failing at flying backwards and recovery
An easy way to kill a swimmer
Ramming players on foot
Ramming a motorcycle I: from the rear
Ramming a motorcycle II: catching the driver on your wing
Ramming a motorcycle III: from the side
Ramming cars I: while driving
Ramming cars II: while stationary
Ramming cars III: while unoccupied (to stop someone from using them). Also, how to handle a smoking plane.
Ramming cars IV: from the side
Attacking the President (gameplay)

Dogfighting playlist





The Hydra

The Hydra is San Andreas' version of the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II jump jet. It has thrust vectoring, guided and unguided missiles, and flares.

General information:
  • In competent hands, the Hydra is the best vehicle for air-to-ground combat. Its guided rockets are difficult to escape in cars, while its unguided rockets can kill in a single shot. Its ability to hover means that it's difficult to hide from, unless the Hydra can't physically fit into the hiding place. Its speed (it is the fastest vehicle in the game) means that in just a moment it can swoop down from high altitudes, decimate a target with a single shot, and be gone.
  • Hydras have a point where they switch from hovering to forward flight- by using that switch, which is virtually instant, the Hydra can be a powerful vehicle for stunts and attacking. In this video, you can see [King]Supreme switching into the hover mode, then switching into the forward mode when he is killed. In this video, you can hear the change in engine noise when the switch is made.
  • Use the special control up/down keys to move the thrust vectoring nozzles and switch between modes.
  • Hydras have flares that make attacks from other Hydras pointless, though few people actually use them. Use the fire key to drop one when you hear a guided missile coming for you.
  • While the Hydra's guided missiles are convenient and seem impressive, they only damage a vehicle, if they even hit. The unguided missiles, while not lagcomped, kill instantly on a direct hit to a vehicle.

Example videos:
General usage
Killing a car driver
Killing an NRG rider
Killing a swimmer I
Killing a swimmer II
Flipping a Hydra into reverse using thrust vectoring
Slipping into the ship using thrust vectoring
Dipping down for a shot
Protecting as SWAT




The Skimmer

The Skimmer, like the Dodo, is a two-seater mainly based on the Cessna 152 with added pontoons. It is slow and lumbering, but has certain interesting features because of its ability to land on water.

General information:
  • The Skimmer handles similarly to the Dodo, though it stalls more easily due to the added weight.
  • Unlike all other fixed-wing aircraft, it can survive a direct hit to the engine
  • It can be difficult to take off from the water at high framerates- use /fpslimit to set your framerate lower and it will take off properly
  • In order for a passenger to enter when the Skimmer is on the water, the skimmer must be next to something that the passenger can stand on. Once the passenger is close to the plane, they should press G and wait, without touching any buttons. Usually, if the plane is situated just right, they will get in.
  • It is possible to jump onto the pontoons from the water and ride them

Example videos:
Oddities of the Skimmer
River canyon in a Skimmer




The Stuntplane

The Stuntplane is based on the Pitt's Special S-1 stunt plane. It is the most maneuverable fixed-wing in the game and has an excellent thrust-to-weight ratio, enabling powerful control over speed and altitude. It is the smallest fixed-wing and travels at the same speed as the Dodo.

General information:
  • The controls are extremely touchy, but once mastered, they enable the pilot to perform many maneuvers that are impossible in other planes.
  • Pressing the sub-missions button activates the smoke.
  • Because of its size and power, the Stuntplane can take off in a shorter distance than any other fixed-wing, excluding the thrust-vectored Hydra.

Example videos:
An easy stunt



Suggested keyboard mapping
This mapping (using the terms defined in the previous section) lets you fly with one hand and operate the camera with the other and operate all necessary controls simultaneously. It's helpful for driving too! If you want to modify the controls further, keep in mind that you need to be able to use both of the yaw controls (for looking behind), both of the throttle controls (for helicopter descents) and one control for the pitch and roll each simultaneously (plus firing controls), worst case.

Left hand, keyboard:
Pitch: W and S
Roll: A and D
Yaw: Z and C (or L-Shift and Space, or any other combination that is comfortable)

Right hand, mouse:
Secondary fire: Left mouse
Throttle decrease/increase: Middle and Right mouse



Terms defined by the default keyboard settings
Accelerate and decelerate/reverse/brake (throttle): W and S
Left and right ailerons (roll): A and D or ← and →
Up and down elevator or pulling up and pulling down (pitch): ↑ and ↓
Left and right rudder (yaw): Q and E
Look back: Q and E pressed at the same time
Primary fire: L-Alt, R-Ctrl, or LMB
Secondary fire: L-Ctrl or R-Shift
Enter/exit: RETURN/ENTER ↵ or F
Landing gear: 2



Credits
  • I would like to give credit to Altus_Demens, from whom I blatantly ripped off formatting ideas and whose recording tutorial I followed to produce my shitty videos.
  • I would also like to thank [SAR]Noah, an excellent pilot and opponent whose keyboard configuration I have included in this guide.
  • I thank the people who have helped me make these videos, knowingly or unknowingly.
  • I would also like to give credit to the many excellent fliers of PTP with whom I honed my skills, including Red_Baron, ReibenIniesta, Harold_Zoid, and many others, as well as the people who I've helped to learn to fly and inspired me to create this guide.


Happy Flying!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 09:23:40 am by YoMama »

Offline GlennN

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 09:07:08 am »
A very informative guide on flying, I really wanted someone like you to show how its done! Great to see that you've shared it here. I'll practice more of flying using these steps when I'm in-game soon. Thanks YoMama!  ;D
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Offline Mia

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 09:34:12 am »
Nice one  :)

  • Generally speaking, don't put the wheels down unless you plan on landing. With the exception of diving on someone, where they can work as an airbrake (they limit your speed), they serve little purpose apart from making it more difficult to accelerate out of a dangerous situation. It's a common habit to put them down in the belief that they will help you turn- Red_Baron did this. Don't bother. It makes it obvious that you don't really know what you're doing. If you want to turn faster, use a stall turn or hold the brake key.

Are you sure about this? From my experience, when you put the landing gear down, the plane automatically activates its high-lift devices. Thanks to that you can get more lift at lower speeds and avoid stalling. I find it useful, for example, when I'm flying behind the president's car and it's too slow for my plane to keep flying behind it without stalling.
Oh! I don't want to fight you, Jorah the Andal. What do I have to gain? If I win, I'm the shit who killed an old man. If I lose, I'm the shit who was killed by an old man.

~ Daario Naharis

Offline YoMama

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 09:36:11 am »
A very informative guide on flying, I really wanted someone like you to show how its done! Great to see that you've shared it here. I'll practice more of flying using these steps when I'm in-game soon. Thanks YoMama!  ;D
I'm glad you like it, though it's only the beginning of it. I'm going to expand it as I get more video. I am realizing how stupid of me it was to never record before :)

From my experience, when you put the landing gear down, the plane automatically activates its high-lift devices. Thanks to that you can get more lift at lower speeds and avoid stalling. I find it useful, for example, when I'm flying behind the president's car and it's too slow for my plane to keep flying behind it without stalling.
I'll confirm what I wrote again, but to my knowledge it has no great advantage over holding the decelerate key apart from being occasionally safer when you hit the ground (the wheels will often bounce you into things you're flying under). Either way, I find that it's much harder to ram someone with the wheels down, you can't keep up with NRGs, and you're an easier target. Also, "high lift devices" = flaps.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 09:44:53 am by YoMama »

Offline Carg

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 11:01:43 am »
Woah! Nice guide. Maybe someone could do one about stunting with nrgs. Would be really helpful :D
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Offline Rage

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 12:16:36 pm »
Nice Guide !! :)

Offline Madman

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 01:02:13 pm »
Useful tip!Ty yomama 4 guiding ppls :D
[08:42:45] * You killed Schottky_BiB (23): Distance: 202 | Weapon: Sniper Rifle
[08:47:51] <Schottky_BiB> {33CCFF}[23] {FFFFFF}madman using sensfix lmao
[08:48:34] * You killed Schottky_BiB (23): Distance: 215 | Weapon: Sniper Rifle
[08:48:52] PM from Schottky_BiB(23): are you using sensfix?

Offline LPCOLTER

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2017, 01:51:14 pm »
Thanks Yomama!
I actually didn't know about the stall. lel

Offline Crash

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2017, 02:31:10 pm »
This is khantastic! Great job,Yomama for president!

Offline Quido

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2017, 03:04:19 pm »
Awesome guide!

Offline COBRA

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2017, 05:09:44 pm »
Very nice Yomama! Thanks for it :D

Offline Faro0s

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 03:41:59 am »
A very useful guide, thank you.

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Offline HaZzdeN

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 09:29:50 am »
Thanks ;)
I became a fan once I saw your avatar yes +1

Offline YoMama

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 10:20:02 am »
I've posted more videos and moved the video information to YouTube, since I'm running into the character limit for posts. Is it possible for me to evade the limit somehow, like by making a second post then having an admin move it under my first one?

I might switch to LaTeX and make a PDF if this doesn't work.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 10:34:14 am by YoMama »

Offline Magic

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Re: Tips and tricks for flying well
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2017, 10:42:56 am »
Excellent information & guide,YoMama!
Have a Magical Day!