Rediscovering the JF-17 in DCS World
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to actively use some of the modules that I have left untouched for months and, in the process, I have asked myself one question over and over again: "Was there a reason why this aircraft didn't stick with me?" One of these aircraft is Deka Ironworks ' JF-17 module, which still is one of, if not, the only modern redfor full fidelity aircraft in the simulator. I have been flying it quite a bit recently to the point that I understand why I might have stopped flying it often and, regrettably, why I shouldn't have stopped flying it at all.
The first thing that jumped to my mind when I strapped into this Chinese-Pakistani aircraft was: "Wow, I actually remember all of my keybinds!" I was thrilled, so I took to the air and proceeded to do a short mission to get the rust off, primarily to allow me to see how much I would have to relearn after having not touched this module in any significant way for more than seven months. Anyone would get rusty, right?
It wasn't until I tried getting my ordinance on target that I realized how unique this aircraft is, allow me to explain. During this attack, my brain started using all the muscle memory that I had built for the F-16C and the MiG-29S, at the same time. I pressed the "7" key on my keyboard to change to air to ground mode, just like I would on the FC3 modules. After dropping the Mk.82 bomb, I started dispensing my countermeasures instinctively in the same way I would while flying a Viper. That is when it all clicked.
The Jeff is the perfect compliment for a person like me, someone that values simplicity and familiarity while also appreciating the unique aspects of everything I use, keeping an open mind to new things while also considering the historical context that surrounds them. This is what the JF-17 has over other aircraft in my virtual hangar.
Thanks to its design, it feels like it is in that Goldilocks zone between eastern and western philosophies. It meets both in the middle and excels and integrating some of the best aspects of a design compromise like this. It has its quirks, for sure, but man does it pay off when everything works, specially that sweet sensor fusion tech that it packs along with the proper implementation of a data cartridge that I talked about quite a while ago.
I look forward to flying the JF-17 much more during multiplayer sessions, and while I am at it, I'll try to get enough experience with the module to write a proper review. About the Author Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000 leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities, but only started being active around 2010. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as a writer and the co-founder of Skyward ever since. Twitter | Discord : Cubeboy #9034