Basic Training - Navigation & Bullseye

Written by
Dean "Bunch" Wright

[ Part 1: Navigation & Bullseye | Part 2: TACAN navigation ]

Senior instructor: Winder

Other authorized instructors: Pilots who have passed the course.

This qualification is open to all pilots of the 185th Reservoir Dogs that have passed the assessment flight.


What is bullseye and why should we use it?

Bullseye is a predetermined location within the theatre of operations that is programmed into every GPS system (global positioning system). In real life this location is always classified and is regularly changed. In Falcon 4.0, the location of bullseye is a permanently fixed position (unless one uses a patch which makes it possible to move the hardcoded bullseye position). The original (hardcoded) position of bullseye in Falcon 4.0 is located at Kaesong, just northwest of Seoul.

We use bullseye to find targets, enemy planes, airfields and each other! Bullseye can be used as a reference point for anything we wish to find in Falcon 4.0.

The reason for using bullseye is simple. A bullseye position is the same for everyone. Let us suppose we are on our way to a target and become engaged by a cap flight. In the heat of battle the enemy is shot down but you now find yourself detached from your flight. How do you find them again? You could arrange to meet at a steer point of course, but that may be some distance away. This will leave you and your flight without mutual protection until you rejoin. Now let us suppose that you are engaged by another cap flight and need help. How do you tell your flight where the threat is or even where you are? You could perhaps give your position as 10 miles west of steer point 2 or some other easily recognized reference point. However, the further you get from such a reference point the less accurate this becomes. By giving a bullseye location, that position is the same for you and your flight. Hence they will find you and the threat accurately and easily.

How to Find a Position Using Bullseye.

First lets take a look at the information available on your left hand MFD.

You are 50 miles from bullseye at a bearing of 54 degree’s flying due north. The tick mark shows that bullseye is behind you; hence you are flying away from bullseye so you will see your distance from the bullseye increasing. The tick mark is also to your left; hence you are flying counter clockwise in terms of the bullseye position so you will see your degrees from the bullseye decreasing. This is easier to understand if you prepare a little map and jot your position and heading onto it.

I have drawn something like this onto a piece of plastic. The grid is in permanent ink so it cannot be removed. This way I use a marker pen to jot positions onto it and wipe them off as I see fit.

As you can see, bullseye is at the centre, with bearings in degrees around the outside and 5 rings marked at 20-mile intervals. I have roughly marked my position and heading onto the grid (in red)

By using this method, you can place any bullseye position onto the grid and quickly see your position in relation to it.

I have marked the position of a threat onto the same grid (blue cross). Its bullseye position is bearing 325 – 80 miles. You can now see quickly and easily what manoeuvre is required to intercept / avoid the threat. You can also see quite quickly how far away the threat is without the need for complex mathematical calculations. If the distance between each circle is 20 miles, then we can see that the treat is at least 80 miles away.

Along with this package you will find a small program called (unsurprisingly) Bullseye Trainer. It takes a little practice to understand how to use it (make sure you select easy mode to begin with). By using the bullseye trainer programme along with the grid method described above you will soon find that practice makes perfect and after a few hours you will be making the calculations quite naturally in your head.

Additional Features.

Now if we look at your left hand MFD once again. Above the bullseye circle, we can see 2 more sets of figures. These refer to the bullseye position of your radar cursors.

From this we can see that our radar is scanning from zero to 24,000ft.

We have placed the radar cursors over the target at which point the altitude of the target
is displayed (13,000ft).

As we have determined already, the 2 sets of figures over the bullseye circle is the bullseye position of your radar cursors, hence the position of the bugged target is bullseye 57 degree’s – 63 miles.

You can use this to pass on the information to other flight members giving bullseye position and altitude of your target. You may also be given the position of a target by another flight member, at which point you can simply move your radar cursors to that position.

Practical Application.

Once you have put in the effort to learn bullseye, how can you best apply it to online flying? Here are a few tips given to me by Minstrel.

Included in the new F4 patcher, you will find a patch that changes bullseye calls back to BRA (bearing, range & altitude) once your target is within 25 miles of your position. This means that you won't have to make bullseye decisions in the heat of battle. (This is not a cheat because that's the way it's done in real life but there will be many occasions in the game when you will need to find bullseye positions outside of 25 miles. I would recommend that you do not apply this patch until you have learnt bullseye correctly as the test to pass this topic will not make allowances for it.).

During your mission brief, you can sketch your route and steer points onto your grid. This will narrow down the area in which you have to look with regard to bullseye calls.

Bullseye has a range limitation however. Outside of the 100-mile ring, the range calls from AWACS are in increments of 100 miles. Hence a target at 140 miles range from bullseye will be called as 100 miles, a target at 220 miles will be called as 200 miles etc. However it is rare that we will find ourselves outside of the 100-mile radius.

Download the bullseye trainer (2.5 MB). Thus you can train bullseye calls without having to start Falcon 4.0.

How to use the bullseye trainer. Excellent document on how to use the bullseye trainer.

[ Part 1: Navigation & Bullseye | Part 2: TACAN navigation ]

185th Reservoir Dogs Basic Training - Navigation & Bullseye This document is subject to changes