Special Weapon Effects
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Thread: Special Weapon Effects

  1. #1

    Cool Special Weapon Effects

    Some people say, an empty desk(top) is the sign of an empty mind.

    Well, I got bored and started working on an old FS2002 project.
    Its an effects file to replicate an AGM-69 SRAM.

    The SRAM was an off-shoot of the old nuclear Genie missile that was carried by B-52s and FB-111s.
    The idea was to use it like a floor sweeper against SAM sites and ground based RADARs.
    The real missile had a flight computer that would allow for one maneuver, so in theory you could launch one and have it turn 180 degrees to take out enemy fighters that were on your tail, if it was needed. Mostly, the idea was to use them to cause mayhem and destroy SAM sites and airfields prior to arriving at a primary target.

    As effects files go, I'm pretty happy with what I have now. I stitched together a missile effect and a nuke fireball effect.
    In FS2002, the fireball was bigger when the effect was added to the [LIGHTS] section. In FS9, it seems to work just fine in either the [LIGHTS] or [SMOKE] sections.

    It still needs some work. I'd like to add a thunder-clap sound effect and I'm not sure if I want to add the mushroom cloud after-effect.

    It flies just about right after its launched, but I need to do a bunch of tests to figure out its longer-range ballistics.
    I added some delay between the old missile fireball (about the size of a fighter jet) and the nuke fireball (about the size of a medium town). One oddity is that the nuke effect seems to need some "critical mass". Shoot one missile and you'll only get the small fireball. Shoot five to ten of them so they land close together and you'll get the BIG fireball after the delay times out.

    Anyway, I'm still working on it. If you'd like to play around with it, drop a PM on me with an e-mail addy and I'll zip-up what I have so far along with install instructions.

  2. #2
    SOH-CM-2022 Mick's Avatar
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    Interesting project!

    SRAM was an acronym for Short Range Attack Missile. It had a range of a hundred and thirty miles! Short range indeed - maybe to SAC, who thought in global terms.

    As you said, the original idea was to use the SRAM to take out SAM sites, allowing the bomber to reach the target and whack it with those big megaton blasters. But the SRAM was so accurate that it could take out the target with its “small” warhead, and a bomber could haul them by the dozen in place of a couple big gravity bombs while avoiding a bomb run directly over the target.

    All very impressive, and it was only when the SRAM was retired that anyone admitted that it really wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

    I remember those nuke effects, but I never saw them at work in the sim. That’s because I hardly ever fly a model, and when I do it’s never been a big bomber.

    Yeah, add a mushroom cloud! What would a nuclear explosion be without a mushroom cloud?

    But it could be tricky. You’ll need to shoot the missile out ahead of the bomber, but by the time it hits the target the bomber would be a couple hundred miles away heading outbound as fast as it could go. So the missile would have to fly out ahead of the bomber, disappearing into the distance, but when it reached the target the explosion would be far behind the bomber. That could be tricky to model.

    You could just leave off the explosion, figuring that it was over the horizon from the bomber by the time it went off - but then you’d have shot off a nuclear missile and wouldn’t get to see it go off.

    You’re in for some interesting challenges with this project. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

  3. #3
    I've already had a moment.

    What I thought I was seeing at night wasn't really what was happening.

    The missile launched and did what it was supposed to. The Big Badda Boom went off directly below and behind the plane.


    What I want in Phase 1:


    -Missile drops free of the bomb bay/pylon and the rocket motor ignites.
    -Missile accelerates ahead of the plane on a semi-ballistic arc. You can see the bright exhaust of the rocket motor.
    -Missile strikes the ground and the Big Badda Boom takes over where the missile landed after a very short delay.


    Its back to the drawing board for now.

    The problem with the real SRAM was that they kept them in service too long.
    The solid rocket motors started to develop cracks in the propellant meaning that the entire thing could explode as soon as the motor lit off. Not good.

    The FB-111s could carry two SRAMS in the mini bomb bay below the cockpit. The "crowd pleasers" would have to be carried on the pylons.
    The B-52's started out carrying SRAMs (6 or 12 as I recall) on the HSABs/pylons but later moved them to a rotary launcher in the bomb bay where they could carry 8.
    The SRAMs were phased out on the B-52s when the AGM-86 ALCM came online. Since the ALCM had/has a range in the neighborhood of 1,000 miles, the SRAMs were no longer needed since the B-52 became a cruise missile launch platform. I believe the FB-111s kept their SRAMs until the planes were retired?

    Getting all of this to work in FS is a challenge, but it CAN be done.
    The tough part is figuring out the ballistics when dropping Gravity Weapons.
    This sounds like Star Wars or Buck Rodgers but we're really talking about dumb iron bombs.
    The problem in FS2002 or FS9 is that we REALLY don't have a precise way to drop these things. It all comes down to timing and the difference between a Hit and a Miss can be within 1/10th of a second or 1/10th of a degree.

    Anyway, let me wrench on this thing for another week or two.

  4. #4
    BTW, Mick, you brought up an excellent point.

    Just how realistic should the effect be in FS?
    Its one thing flying a B-17 over Berlin and seeing your bombs hit somewhere close to where you intended.
    (BTW, the good old Norden Bomb Site just wasn't all that )

    Its a whole other kettle of fish when you're dropping nukes. The last thing you want is to be close to where they go off. You don't even want to see the flash unless you're into going blind.

    What I've done in the past is make the FX files as accurate as I can then use some solid get-away tactics.
    At least I know the effect worked.
    If I could see just a hint of a fire ball on the other side of a mountain range, that was close enough.

  5. #5
    SOH-CM-2022 Mick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sbob View Post
    …(BTW, the good old Norden Bomb Site just wasn't all that )…
    All through the war the USAAF held the Norden in great secrecy, removing it from bombers between missions and mounting armed guards by planes that had it installed. Apparently they failed to realize that all the Germans had to do to get one was salvage it from any shot-down bomber that fell in Germany or occupied territory.

    In fact the Germans got their hands on it pretty much immediately after American bomb raids started and they quickly determined that it wasn’t as good as what they had developed themselves.

    While researching the current B-45 project I was surprised to learn that the Norden was still in use into mid-fifties. When the B-45 went to the UK to join NATO forces, they had to be retrofitted with the Norden sight and a little window in the nose for it to look through because the plane’s sophisticated bombing/navigation system wasn’t working as intended.

    As it happened, the Norden wasn’t designed for the sort of high altitude bombing done by the USAAF. It was developed for the Navy for use in the TBD torpedo bomber, which would make bombing runs from much higher than torpedo attacks but still at low altitude compared to heights that the USAAF used it.

  6. #6
    SOH-CM-2022 Mick's Avatar
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    This talk about the SRAM reminds me of a T-shirt I once saw at an airshow.

    If you're as old as me you'll remember the old Domino's Pizza promise of quick delivery with the infamous tag line that caused the offer to be rescinded following a nationwide rash of traffic accidents. It was in those days that I saw that T-shirt.

    It had a dramatic image of a B-52 seen from a low eleven o'clock viewpoint as it fires a SRAM that's about to pass over the viewer's shoulder in an enormous bast of flame and smoke.

    The legend below the graphic read, "DELIVERY IN THIRTY MINUTES OR THE NEXT ONE'S FREE."

  7. #7
    The SSBN folks had a similar tee shirt.


    "Twenty four empty missile tubes, a mushroom cloud, its Miller Time.."

  8. #8

    Icon26

    Quote Originally Posted by Sbob View Post
    Some people say, an empty desk(top) is the sign of an empty mind.

    Well, I got bored and started working on an old FS2002 project.
    Its an effects file to replicate an AGM-69 SRAM.

    The SRAM was an off-shoot of the old nuclear Genie missile that was carried by B-52s and FB-111s.
    The idea was to use it like a floor sweeper against SAM sites and ground based RADARs.
    The real missile had a flight computer that would allow for one maneuver, so in theory you could launch one and have it turn 180 degrees to take out enemy fighters that were on your tail, if it was needed. Mostly, the idea was to use them to cause mayhem and destroy SAM sites and airfields prior to arriving at a primary target
    Hi, Bob - your squirrely pal here. I've not been simming since my old gaming rig gave up the ghost a couple of years or so back. But I finally just got a new (better) one - and of course find that I can't activate FSX anymore - so what am I to do with all these photoscenery discs lol

    Anyway - I thought I'd ask - I don't suppose in the meantime you guys have finally found a way to actually blow things up in FS9, have you?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rawsthorne View Post
    Hi, Bob - your squirrely pal here. I've not been simming since my old gaming rig gave up the ghost a couple of years or so back. But I finally just got a new (better) one - and of course find that I can't activate FSX anymore - so what am I to do with all these photoscenery discs lol

    Anyway - I thought I'd ask - I don't suppose in the meantime you guys have finally found a way to actually blow things up in FS9, have you?

    Rawsthorne, (if that really is your name ) it depends on what you mean by "blow up".

    Flight Sim is NOT Combat Flight Sim or DCS, however Micro Soft saw fit to include special effects like fire works displays going back to FS2000, so it was only a matter of time before those effects were, um, repurposed.

    There are some nice Gravity Weapon and missile effects for FS2002 and FS2004, the only problem is that its a bear and then some to hit what you were aiming at.
    That doesn't mean its impossible. It just takes practice and a desire to cheat.

    Which is very ironic. If you do enough digging, you'll soon learn that great fighter pilots and bomber crews had to learn how to "cheat the system"- as it were.
    FS2004, and before, does not have a way to model a ground search RADAR. Instead, you can use the built-in "GPS" functions to backwards design something close (er, close enough) to a working RADAR. After that, its just a matter of figuring out the ballistics of some of these effects files and with enough practice you can reliably start putting dumb bombs inside the CEP of a given target.

    I always made it a point to avoid FSX like its was the plague, however there are plenty of folks on the FSX forums who can help you get re-sorted. After you get back up and running there's always The Tac Pack for FSX, I've heard good things about The Tac Pack and you might want to check it out.

  10. #10
    SOH-CM-2022 Mick's Avatar
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    Yes, you can blow stuff up in FS9. But it doesn’t stay blown up. When the smoke and flame clear away the target remains intact.

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