Mission Editor

The F-4 has several special options selectable in the Mission Editor.

Special Options

Condition and Wear

"And I'll tell you what, since Cal's on it, it's only flown on approved cross-countries and drill weekends. Mint condition, folks, no over-Gs."

All components of the aircraft simulate wear individually, yielding a unique experience on each spawn, but also based on how the F-4 is flown.

It is generally differentiated between Condition and the Wear and Tear, both are dynamic at spawn and can be influenced throughout a mission by various factors such as forces, temperature and also combat damage.

The aircraft has thousands of components that are subject to this system. One concrete example would be the speed of the Pave Spike Targeting Pod elevation gimbal motor. Under perfect condition, it is supposed to have a speed of 60 degrees per second. However, a factory generally can not ensure this to always be the case and accepts a variance, for example it must be within 1% error.

Mathematically, variance is simulated as normal distribution, consisting of the parameters

  • μ (Mu, mean) - the value it would have under perfect condition
  • σ (Sigma) - the variance of the value

Normal Distribution

Around 70% of times the value will be within one unit of σ, in 95% of cases it will be within 2 units of σ. Extreme cases above 3 units of σ are possible, but very rare.

Said motor has for example a σ value of 3% around 60 degrees per second, meaning that the vast majority of targeting pods will be produced with a motor capable of moving the elevation gimbal between 58 and 62 degrees per second.

💡 Variance goes in both directions, your Phantom can also be faster than it is supposed to be.

Aircraft Condition

An aircraft's condition generally refers to its factory and production quality. For example, during war times a factory might run out of supplies and reduce their acceptance criteria during production, generally increasing variance in individual component performance.

Mission designers can control this aspect with the Aircraft Condition slider, indicating quality from 0% (poor quality) to 100% (high quality).

For the Pave Spike motor this means that, when set to 0%, its speed variance σ will increase from 3% to 8%, causing majority of pods to be produced with a speed between 55 and 65 degrees per second instead.

Aircraft condition will always still be within limits that a manufacturer might find reasonably acceptable. The aircraft is always still fully functional and operational.

Aircraft Wear and Tear

Additionally to production quality, components can degrade during service based on time since the last overhaul, external factors like temperature and weather, aggressive flying involving a lot of forces on the airframe, as well as combat damage.

Mission designers can control this aspect with the Aircraft Wear and Tear slider, indicating wear from 0% (no wear) to 100% (a lot of wear), or even beyond that. For an aircraft that was just repaired and came fresh out of service, 0% is appropriate. 100% refers to the latest point at which an aircraft would reasonably be send back for maintenance, as it starts being less effective in practice. Values beyond, such as 500%, can be used to represent scenarios in which pilots are forced to fly an aircraft that operates exceptionally below its expected performance level. It is still somewhat usable, nothing is straight out broken, but components just do not behave within acceptable parameters anymore.

💡 Values beyond 100% cannot be set in the Mission Editor, but are achievable in-flight.

For the Pave Spike motor this means that, when set to 100% wear, its speed variance σ will additionally increase by 20%. Assuming a good initial starting condition, the motor will at that point likely operate between 45 and 75 degrees per second.

Crashed Phantom

Reference Aircraft

The variance system at initial spawn can be turned off with this checkbox, if desired. Components will then start with their mean value μ, without any variance.

That is, with the option checked the setting for condition, as well as wear and tear are ignored and disabled. The aircraft will spawn with all properties set exactly as specified by the manufacturer and according to documentation, without any variance.

This is especially interesting for competitions, where both sides should start with the same conditions for fairness. Or when performing tests and computing performance charts, where the aircraft should always start with the exact same values.

💡 Even the reference aircraft is still subject to wear and tear during flight. In a competition, if you pull high Gs, your aircraft's component properties will deviate from your opponents.

INS Reference Alignment Stored

This checkbox allows significant reduction of the time needed for a proper INS alignment during cold-start.

Therefore, the ground crew would previously have started the aircraft and executed a full alignment, then shut it down again, while memorizing parts of the alignment data.

See the INS section for details on how to execute a stored alignment.

Allow Night Vision Goggles

Although F-4E crews never actually operated with NVGs, this option allows mission designers to create modern or fictional scenarios where Phantom crews might have access to such devices.

TACAN Options

Allows to set the TACAN channel and band set when spawning initially.

VOR/ILS Options

Allows to set the VOR/ILS frequency when spawning initially.

KY-28 Encryption Key

Allows to set the encryption key used by the KY-28 communication encryption system.

This setting is especially important when using tools such as ED-VOIP or SRS that simulate encryption while using the radio equipment.

See the KY-28 System for details.

Chaff Double Dispense

An option available to the ground-crew on the AN/ALE-40 countermeasure dispensers.

When selected, each signal to release chaff instead releases chaff on both sides simultaneously.

See the AN/ALE-40 system for details.

IFF Mode 2 Options

Allows to preselect a Mode 2 code for the IFF system.

Laser Options

Allows to preselect a laser code for the targeting pod and laser-guided weapons.

Radio Options

The editor allows to preset all 18 COMM and 20 AUX channels of the UHF radio:

UHF Presets

It is possible to set up a station in the Mission Editor for use in ADF navigation. To do this, a unit, such as a ground station, needs to be placed on the map. This unit should then execute a command to tune into the desired AM frequency (Perform Command > Set Frequency). Finally, the unit must transmit a message continuously throughout the mission, which requires setting the message to loop (Perform Command > Transmit Message).

ADF Station

Also, radio frequency parameters to read currently active UHF Radio frequencies are provided for mission triggers:

COMM_FREQComm frequency in MHz
AUX_FREQAux frequency in MHz

UHF Parameters