I've continued to regularly fly over various virtual WWII battlefields in the online IL46 flightsim universe. Over the last few days I've concentrated on flying the beaufighter. I have flown them over Norway and New Guinea, as well as several pacific islands. I have carried bombs, rockets and torpedoes. I have gone in low and I have gone in high. I have had mixed success.
Norwegian server's Norwegian campaign had a couple missions where, taking off from northern scotland, the idea was to find and sink prowling u-boats near the coast of Norway. Trouble was, there was a lot of flak from both surface ships and the Norwegian coast. I flew two missions with rockets, and was shot down by flak both times. Didn't sink anything. The first time I went in at about a thousand feet. I managed to get rockets close to target and only got hit by unlucky shrapnel at extreme range on my way out over the waves. Second mission, I went in (stupidly) at 8000 ft, dropping to 3000ft near target and getting shot down before I had got any munitions off. I think I was gliding long and straight at the various gun's ideal height to shoot at sitting duck bombers.
I let it go for a couple days, and decided I'd give a go to wave hopping out to the target at high speed. When I went onto server this morning, there were over half a dozen flyers online, but they were flying over pacific islands. Luckily, there was a base with beaufighters I could fly, so I took one out for a raid on japanese airfield (while everyone else was (I hoped) busy dogfighting elsewhere).
I navigated by map to my IP ('initial point') and banked onto rocket run over island at under 2000 ft. I flew over enemy airfield and flak destroyers at about 400 mph and under 200 ft. Not low enough, I think, none of my eight rockets damaged anything. I circled up over a bay, and had a fuel tank punctured by ship anit air. The resultant fuel leak decided me to head straight back for base, so I continued my sweeping bank up and away from the enemy aa, coming back onto course several miles to the west of my approach at about 4000ft.
Just, however, as I put a few clouds between myself and the enemy island as I departed out of the range of their flak, I noticed some tracer bullets passing over my right wing. There was a jap plane somewhere behind me! I sideslipped off to the left, converting into a sliding, rolling undulating dive to under a thousand feet on full throttle - all the time heading towards my own fleet to the South. Several more times I saw tracer bullets miss me narrowly as I weaved in the sky. A couple times I felt something hit, but I trusted to the sturdy construction of my plane and my two powerful engines to pull me through if I could only put off the enemy's aim. Before long, I was under the AA umbrella thrown up by my own fleet, and my opponent gave up the chase. I eventually landed on my own field, damaging the propellors but otherwise bringing my plane home sound and on all of its wheels.
Finally, I constructed a brief training mission for making a torpedo run against a group of japanese destroyers. I have got the knack of this (high speed, low altitude, sense of timing) and look forward to trying out some sneak raids online.
9 hours ago