After recovering from the excitment of pulling off the Alpha360 for the first time with Rock I had a few days of bouncing around the house as Rock wasnt able to fly for the best part of a week. So after bouncing around the house for a week Rock wants to go fly the Mustangs for abit as he feels the need for a bit of prop action.
So Fadec, Rock and I get together on a Friday afternoon, after being suitably warned that Fadec and Rock were going to do a couple of Horsemen practice routines and me promising to try not to hit them we got underway. With Rock leading and Fadec in on tight right I swing round into slot and let out a quiet prayer for 2 things, A) That I can keep with them and more importantly B) that if A) should happen I dont hit either of them. Having been flying with Rock for a number of weeks by this point I had gotten to know his style of flying however this was the first time that we had done anything more then the previously mentioned tail chase in the Mustangs. I was nervous as hell, maybe even more so then the first flight that Rock and I had together as with this flight I was sure there was some expectation of me to be able to hang with them. Rock had said nothing about his expectations of me, I didnt know which way to take this that he either expected to lose me on the first wingover or that there was some unwritten undercurrent that I was expected to be glued to him like a teenager to a copy of a girly mag.
Pulling up into the first turn I can already feel myself starting to fall back, a quick check of all my settings and I increase the RPM ever so slightly so I was a better match for the lead pair, we hang left in a wingover that looked more like the start of a barrel roll then a turn. Heading back towards the runway we are low, fast and sound like the gates of hell have opened to the blazing glory of merlins. Banking into a right hand photo op pass we are abit of a strange formation with no left wing but I was pleased to be still with them!
Now I am not going to go through the routine in detail as I dont want to spoil it for any readers that want to see these guys fly a show, But let me tell you that I take my hat off to the pair of them and the skill they demonstrate in the Mustang. Anyone that has flown this in DCS knows that its not an easy plane to fly and that it has many quirks and quibbles. Really guys, I have the utmost respect for both of these pilots and if you havent seen them fly yourself go and look up their videos on youtube as they really are something to behold.
Now Rock being the unique pilot that he is fancied doing something different after our Mustang exploits, he jumped into a Ka50 and proceeded to start it up, Storm, Sawa, I and some others were playing around in the Sukhois when he gets airbourne. Now for those of you who do not or can not fly the Ka50 the top cruising speed is around 290kmph with a max speed of around 305kmph before you start losing parts of the chopper! Keeping Su27’s airbourne at sub 300kmph can be a challenge on approach for landings sometimes so trying to do it in formation could be considered suicide! Not that it would stop us though 😉
Now I need to ask if any readers have images of this formation with the correct skin on the Ka50 as I would love to see them, we had a formation of 6-7 aircraft plus Rock in the Ka50. The screenies I have have 2 skins missing so do not look very nice sadly.
Rock decided that even though he was in the Ka50 I wouldnt have an easy time of it and we started going down through the valleys to the north west of Sochi before Rock lines up on the bridge… All I can think of here is that holding this formation is tough enough, trying to get it under this bridge would be like threading a straw with the leaning tower of pisa! After taking us through the bridge not once, not twice but 3 times (Finally on the 3rd go we almost all got under one section of the bridge) Rock decided that he had enough and was time to break for landing.
Rock, Storm and I went back up in new sukhois for a little aerobatic practice, after taking off for a loop on take off Rock I think had his devil grin on again as he threw us around like he was trying to shake off a hungry crocodile chasing his dinner… Left rolls followed by loops followed by right rolls and clover loops. You name it he did it to us, Storm if you are reading this then I have the upmost respect for how you fly left wing, you stick with Rock through all of this without even using teamspeak for the most part! Much kudos to you mate!
After an eventful weekend I walk away with a new found and deserved respect for the work that Fadec and Rock put into the Mustang to fly it the way they do and a detirmination that one day I will fly it to something where Rock will be at least a little pleased with it. One day…
Next time… I get a friend into flying for the first time and Rock decides that I have had enough time in slot and need to move to wing…
no images were found