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Fuel loads: historical and ROF application

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#1 Federinz

  • Posts: 16
  • LocationSvizzera

Posted 18 March 2021 - 09:44

Hallo everyone!


I've witnessed many different approaches to the fuel load question on the servers and found little and scattered informations on the forum.


My main question is: how to apply historical fuel loads in ROF?


I'm aware that a simulation is a fun shadow of the real air war's context, part of the environment can't be replicated and even the physics reproduced are approximations.

With that in mind, we sometimes try to adapt historical data to the characteristics of the sim, mediating between the two in the name of fun.

Some even suggest to use the fuel load as key compensation for some mistreated FM, that margin being discussed in other threads.

There's also the aspect of choosing between historical and relatively unbalanced fights versus "arcade game" with some level of compensating effect for advantaged and disadvantaged machines.


A second question, for historical reference, would be: how (much) did pilots and mechanics fill their tanks?

Was it intended to be full at take off or did they regularly adapt to mission, machine and restrictions?

Thinking of flight time, I suppose most aircrafts would have tended to full load, in principle.

Would a Camel pilot regularly get airborne with maximum fuel capacity?

Of course I long for average numbers, the variables in real world being virtually infinite.


Some servers lock fuel at 50%, others seems to be using the small tanked Fokker Dr1 at 100% as standard to calculate the other's percentage (based on tank volume).

Anecdotally, some players told me that 70% is realistic for most planes, with Eindecker and DH2 being the exception at ~30%.

In JG1's FIF, they suggest 20-30% load for heavy bombers.

I'm very interested in knowing what is the reasoning behind these numbers.

Some I can deduce myself, some I find slightly more obscure, without direct reference.


I surmise that a nearly full load could be the most realistic and the servers locked on 50% ideal for short sorties with a somewhat serious load, admitting that all planes are truthfully represented with the same percentage.

The "Dr1 standard" is very interesting but some noted that it might have widely different effects on most aircrafts, becoming unfair in a new kind of way.


I'm sure I'm missing something in all this but I hope my question helps at least condense most informations in one thread.

I keep reflecting on this subject, finding more clues, answers and going back to confusion.


Many thanks in advance to any contribution.







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#2 JoeCrow

  • Posts: 4170

Posted 17 June 2021 - 18:44

There have been many arguments (as opposed to discussions) concerning fuel load-outs in MP without anyone actually producing any clear evidence of a 'norm'. This is not surprising because fuel load-outs should be considered as simply a part of an aircraft's overall payload in the same way as other payloads (passengers, ammo, bomb-load, pilot weight etc.). There is an overall maximum and minimum take-off-weight (MTOW) for every aircraft but the maximum possible payload usually exceeds the MTOW,  This is why there is no 'standard' fuel load-out. In effect it was tailored to the needs of the mission, for example 'bomb-load v distance to target' where compromise have to be made over the maximum range (fuel) and bomb-load. Whereas an interceptor scout may need to trade 'endurance' for 'climb-speed'. So, there is no answer written in stone (or just ask the CO for a decision).


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#3 Zooropa_Fly

  • Posts: 1726

Posted 18 June 2021 - 12:25

Back in the days of an MP scene, on the airquake servers some of the jocks used to take 10% or less.

There was / is a belief that a couple of percent fuel difference can make all the difference - that's going round and around.

Ultimately given perfect turning performances it will.


When I've run a server (small-ish maps) - I lock fuel at 33% for all planes. Nobody can steal an 'advantage' and it keeps it a bit real at least !

I've never subscribed to different fuel locks per fuel tank size, which I see as part of the plane design.


For offline play a heavier load isn't so much of a disadvantage - I'd typically take 2/3 of a tank.

Remember of course if your fuel tank gets hit it might be handy to have a good amount of fuel - get you back over the lines.


I'm sure I read that irl 'fighter' planes would always be filled up, but I've also read that they weren't !!



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#4 SeaW0lf

  • Posts: 2605
  • LocationRio de Janeiro - Brazil

Posted 18 June 2021 - 13:05

Nobody can steal an 'advantage' and it keeps it a bit real at least !


That could work in real life, but not in-game. The same way people bring rpm and prop pitch data to discuss FMs as if the in-game planes are real. They are far from real and, in my opinion, we should approach them as what they are, in-game flight models with their own limitations and characteristics. We are also not sure if during the war they partially filled some planes depending on the range of the mission. But from my Kindle searches it appears that they were taking off full.


Due to FM inconsistencies, limitations and nerfings, some planes like the Tripehound or the Camel got unplayable in servers like Syndicate, which locked all planes with 100% fuel. In one Syndicate mission I could not clear a hill nearby of the field because the Camel could not climb it. I had to go around. A Camel with 33% fuel could fly more than one NFF mission right now, which I think lasts 60 minutes. You would also be favoring the Dr.1, the so dreaded Dr1, because 33% for the Dr1 or the D8 burns too fast, while for the [in-game] Camel, 33% is a penalty in a furball server.


To avoid these anomalies, which do drive players away, in my opinion I would either leave it unlocked or lock every plane by flying time to call it even. Then you can take off knowing that both you and your opponent can stay aloft for the same time. If you lock it by percentage or liters, fuel load becomes another variable in combat, which is not that bad, but in some planes it could play a decisive role.


In single player? I would take off with fuel enough for the mission and some, since it would make no difference in combat if you were taking off with 100% fuel or 10%.

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#5 Federinz

  • Posts: 16
  • LocationSvizzera

Posted 18 June 2021 - 15:44

Thank you all very much for your observations, greatly appreciated o7

I was not looking for rules written on stone anyway, but more for what were the thoughts of the community on the subject.


I must admit I was eager to have SeaW0lf's opinion in particular because of his interesting charts and analysis for the endurance argument on another forum.


On MP I prefer the unlocked fuel loads too but sometimes, depending on aircrafts, players and servers,

the risk and doubt of having a fight  between two machines with two extremely different starting loads (like 10 vs 100) can be frustrating.

Even though it's part of the overall challenge, I suppose.


I very personally like to have at least half tank full (generally 2/3 on scouts), also so my mind has a better grasp at what is the average performance of the aircraft is.

Then I adapt it to the situation.

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