Calculating Wind
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Calculating Wind

Determining Wind Direction   Determining Wind Speed   Blown Away?

So how do you judge wind speed as well as direction? In Attack, or Cuba 1.5 there are two ways, in Cuba 1.0 & 1.2 there's only one that I can figure.

1. In Attack or Cuba 1.5, you can eject a pilot and watch his movement and what his chute does after he touches down, then get in another plane. Can't do that in Cuba since you only get one guy per mission, and a new game brings new wind.....MAYBE. (Wind seems somewhat consistent within individual missions, but I wouldn't bank on that.)

2. In all A-10 games you can use your crab angle to guage wind. Crab angle is the difference between the direction the nose is pointing and the direction the plane is actually traveling. In the HUD (NAV mode only) the crab angle is illustrated visually by the difference in the positions of the pipper (guncross) and the flight vector (TVV). The flight vector/TVV is the Total Velocity Vector of the aircraft, and is the circle with three hash marks that floats all over the HUD. It shows you where the plane is actually going.

The pipper is the capital T and shows you where the nose is pointing.


1. Make sure wind is activated in preferences, put the HUD in NAV mode

2. Take off and achieve level flight in any direction.

3a. ...TURN THE PLANE AWAY FROM THE FLIGHT VECTOR (if the FV is to the right of the pipper, turn left, and vice versa)
      IF, as you are turning, the flight vector begins sliding toward the pipper, you are turning INTO THE WIND, and you will have the wind heading as soon as the flight vector and pipper are aligned.
      IF as you are turning away from the flight vector it goes further away from center, keep turning. Eventually the flight vector will begin sliding back toward the pipper. When it aligns with the pipper, you'll be heading INTO THE WIND, and will have the wind heading.


This means you are either flying directly into the wind, or you have it straight at your back. MAKE NOTE OF YOUR HEADING NOW, it is your reference heading.

3b. Turn 20° or 30° to either side. If the flight vector moves off the pipper in the direction you turn (you turn right, it slides to the right of the pipper), YOUR REFERENCE HEADING IS THE WIND HEADING. If the flight vector slides off the pipper against your turn (you turn right, it slides left of the pipper), the wind is 180°. from your reference heading.


1. Find wind direction if you haven't already - you'll need to know it to find the speed.

2. Turn PERPENDICULAR TO THE WIND. Either side, doesn't matter. Once you're flying perpendicular, look at the flight vector. (If the flight vector is fully against the side of the HUD, the wind is too strong to be measured at your current airspeed. Add power until the flight vector "comes loose" from the side of the HUD.)

3. Look at how far to the left or right the flight vector is deflected. This is your crab angle. DO NOT USE THE HEADING TAPE ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF THE HUD TO READ THE CRAB ANGLE. THE HEADING TAPE USES A COMPRESSED SCALE THAT DOES NOT JIVE WITH THE PERIPHERY OF THE VIEW OUT FRONT. Meaning, if you were to refer to the heading tape, the flight vector would indicate a 20° crab if it were right over the airspeed tape (on the left) and altitude tape (on the right.) This is way off. The two vertical tapes are excellent references, but they only reflect roughly a 5° crab. (To confuse matters further, the pipper is not perfectly centered between the airspeed tape and the altitude tape. The altitude tape on the right, being slightly closer to the pipper, represents more like a 4° crab.)

Once the crab angle is known, you can do a simple calculation...

Generally, for every 60 kts of indicated airspeed (IAS), one degree of crab will indicate one knot of crosswind component. Or, simplifying it:


(NOTE: The equation calculates crosswind component. THE CROSSWIND COMPONENT EQUALS THE WIND SPEED ONLY IF YOU ARE FLYING AT OR NEAR PERPENDICULAR TO THE WIND DIRECTION. Luckily the flight vector makes it easy to get perpendicular to the wind, as we've discussed, so it is easy to figure wind speed.)


This example shows how simple it really is:

Let's say I've turned my plane so the flight vector and the pipper are lined up, and my heading is now 040. I now know the wind is either from 040 or 220. I turn right 90° to 130, and the flight vector moves about 3° left (meaning the wind is from the right). I see my airspeed is 240 kts.

So I use the equation: (240/60) x 3 = 4 x 3 = 12

The wind is roughly 220 @ 12. (I say "roughly" because the A-10 is never perfectly smooth, and the flight vector rarely holds still enough for you to get a precise crab angle.)

Another example:

I've lined up the flight vector and pipper, and my heading is 280°. I turn right to 010, and the flight vector slides fully right. At 200 kts, my airspeed is not great enough to measure this wind, and I add power. At 340 knots, the flight vector is about 6 degrees right of the pipper (close to the edge of the HUD.)

(340/60) x 6 = 5.7 x 6 = (approx.) 34

The wind is roughly 280 @ 34.

Now, go into Cuba network mission "Blown Away" and have fun figuring out the winds there! (Hint: Fly fast when lining up the flight vector and the pipper, and even faster to determine your crab angle. Very fast, in fact.) For fun, eject in this mission and see what happens. (A freaky way to measure the wind in "Blown Away" is to land on a carrier, come to a complete stop, then try to make heads or tails of the airspeed indicator. Keep those brakes on!)

- Docklands. (Wind is roughly 290 @ 15)
- Assistance Needed. (Wind is roughly 330 @ 20)

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