IL-2 Sturmovik - teach me how to fly!

I just got the IL-2 Sturmovik Gold Edition a few nights ago, and have crashed each and every time I take one of those birds into the air. My only other flight sim experience is limited to Battlefield 1942, which is very dumbed down compared to IL-2 Sturmovik. I don’t want to turn the difficulty to Easy though, and would prefer to learn the hard way through practice and experience. However I have no idea how to do even basic maneuvers so a little instruction would be nice.

After about 5 hours of practice I can get off the ground almost all the time and do basic strafing and banking. However, I still stall too much while I’m banking hard. Also, I often see my wingman turn his wings perpendicular to the earth which causes him to rapidly lose altitude, and then he flips upside down and then rights himself. Any time I try to do anything like this I go into a stall and spin to my doom. My airspeed is usually over 300 and I try most of these manuvers at full throttle.

Hints? Pointers? Got a favorite website?

Going from BF 1942 “physics” to IL-2 is quite a shock, isn’t it? :slight_smile:

First off, you are using a joystick aren’t you? If you aren’t, stop right now and go get one. Preferably one with yaw control - ie the stick can twist.

What airplane are you flying? The IL-2 is one of the most forgiving airplanes in the game. If you are in a P-40, Bf-109 or other high performance fighter then your learning curve will be much steeper.

The first thing I would do is evaluate how you are using the joystick. It is VERY difficult to make small inputs when you are gripping the entire stick and supporting the weight of your arm. My technique is to rest my wrist on the base of the joystick and use my fingers to manipulate it. Let the joystick rest in the neutral position and make your input, then let it return to neutral. You can make very fine adjustments this way. It’s a stretch to reach the trigger, but nothing that really impedes me.

Use this technique and practice turning. Keep your throttle at around 90%, maintain level flight and roll into 90 degrees of bank (you will be sideways). As soon as you are at 90 deg, start pulling. Do it gently, and slowly increase the back pressure. The plane should start “talking” to you - increased buffet, shaking, etc as you increase the back pressure. With the IL-2 you should be able to go to full back stick without stalling it (if you keep the turn level). Other airplanes will stall and “snap off” in a violent roll. Again, you should get clues before this happens if you are being careful. Practice with various rates of increasing back pressure: pull back VERY slowly, then roll out and yank that sucker back. See if you can fine tune the amount of back pressure you are pulling.

Once you can fine-tune the back pressure you should be able to do more difficult maneuvers like loops, Immelmans and Cuban-eights.

Use the Quick Mission Builder to practice manuevering. Set it up so you start out in the air, at 2000 feet or so and in clear weather. No enemies, no wingman - just you and your airplane.

Good luck, and let me know if any of this helped at all!

Thanks for your tips! Your quick mission tip will save me a lot of time, plus the flight tips are bound to help.

I’ve got a Logitech wingman 3d something or other joystick which has the twist handle and a throttle. I’ll give your suggestions a try.

One more quick question… Once I get into a death spin, is there any way to get out? I tried restarting the engine, but it never helps.

Woo-hoo! Spins are fun! I actually try to get into the worst spins I can just to see if I can get out of them.

First, reduce the back pressure. Pulling back too hard and/or a lack of airspeed got you into this situation, so continuing to pull won’t help. Second, bring the throttle to idle. Not off, but idle. Analyze which way you are spinning. Simultaneously apply forward pressure and rudder opposite the spin. If you are spinning left, apply right rudder. Be aggressive with these moves - you want to stop the rotation and get the nose down so you can regain some airspeed.

Once the rotation stops straighten out the rudder and keep the nose down until you have some decent airspeed and slowly add power. Start pulling out of the resultant dive slowly - if you yank back on the stick you’ll be right back where you started, only closer to the ground.

All airplanes spin differently - some will come right out of it once you release the back pressure and others will fight you all the way to the ground. The key is to remain calm and analyze what is happening, then correct it.

Spinning = good fun! :wink:


What airplane are you flying? The IL-2 is one of the most forgiving airplanes in the game. If you are in a P-40, Bf-109 or other high performance fighter then your learning curve will be much steeper.

Ehh? The Bf-109 almost flies itself, never had a problem with it. That IL-2, on the other hand, flies like a soapbox derby car.

BonoVox yeah, the IL-2 is a tub, but I was referring to being able to fly without having the airplane snap roll on you when you pull too hard. The IL-2 is slow and ponderous but very forgiving in flight - just what someone new to game might need.