Linux Air Combat Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Updated 04Nov2023

LAC's standard keyboard layout  LAC Standard joystick/numeric keypad controls
LAC Joystick Controls.
LAC's standard keyboard, numeric keypad, and joystick control layout. (It is possible to change the association of these keyboard, keypad, and joystick buttons with LAC's flight and communication functions, but this is our standard arrangement. From time to time in the text below, we will refer to one of these keyboard keys and this standard control layout, using square brackets and double quotes, like this: ["g"], referring to the "G" key, which toggles landing gear. If you have customized your control layout, you will need to adjust your own interpretation of our documentation accordingly. )
Console Game Controller mapped for LAC Linux Air Combat on Valve Steam Deck
As an alternative, LAC's aircraft can be controlled with a USB "Game Controller" instead of a joystick or mouse. A new version of LAC is available for Valve  Corporation's "Steam Deck" portable  console gaming PC.

LAC Cockpit in flight.

LAC's cockpit during combat.
Consult these images as necessary when the discussion below references LAC commands. (Click images to see a larger version.

CLICK HERE for a comprehensive YouTube tour of LAC's cockpit controls and instruments.

Q01: Is LAC compatible with Microsoft Windows?

A:  Yes, if you have a very powerful computer running Windows 10.

In early April of 2019 we got a report from a sim pilot who had LAC Version 7.56 flying reasonably well under Windows 10, relying on Microsoft's free "Ubuntu bash shell". He reported very very high framerates in a 640x480 window when LAC's graphical detail settings and visual range (fog distance) were set down low. However, when he attempted high resolution and the highest video quality settings, the frame rate dropped below 20 FPS. He also reported that Windows did not detect his joystick, so he used his Mouse Pointer for primary flight controls. He was using a very very powerful, gaming-class computer when he made this report in early April of 2019. By adjusting all of the settings for the best compromise, he reported an enjoyable and satisfying experience. (His assessment of LAC inspired him to go out and buy an external hard disk drive as the basis for dual-booting his gaming PC for use with native Linux in support of LAC.)

Update 11Apr2019: We just got another report. This time a user got LAC working under Windows 10 equipped with the free, well-known "VirtualBox" LINUX emulator. In this case, the user reported limited success reading his joystick, but he had not yet been successful mapping all of the axes to his satisfaction.

Of course, you are going to need a computer of much greater power to get the same smooth flight and framerate under Windows that LINUX users obtain easily, because of the natural computational overhead involved in emulating LINUX within the complex, sophisticated Windows environment. But if you have a powerful, gaming-class PC and want to retain your Windows 10 installation without installing LINUX, you are welcome to experiment with it under Windows 10. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to support you through any problems that arise; you're on your own...

Furthermore, a skilled programmer could probably compile LAC on a Windows machine using our source code, but some source-code modification would be necessary. This will be beyond the skill of non-programmers. We don't have the resources to help with this effort, but if you want to take it on you might expect success within a "man-month" or so....

One other approach that may help Windows users run LAC without actually installing LINUX is discussed in our forums. Because LAC does not make heavy demands on your hard disk drive, it can be run from a bootable, Read-Only version of LINUX of the type that is typically available on DVD ROM and which is commonly known as "Linux Live" media. Detailed instructions can be found in this forum entry:

Q02: Do I really need to compile LAC?

A: Probably not. In November of 2021, we began publishing a new version of LAC that is always precompiled, using the well-known "AppImage" tools and format, for compatibility with (almost) all popular desktop LINUX distros, with no need for additional prerequisite libraries, so long as your hardware is based on the industry-standard "X86" architecture.

A precompiled binary version is also available for modern versions of the tiny, low-cost, ARM-based "Raspberry Pi" on their desktop "Raspbian" operating system. Learn about it HERE.

For those using industry-standard X86 hardware, we have had success with it in our labs on all of these popular desktop LINUX distros:
Without doubt, our AppImage is compatible with the vast majority of modern desktop LINUX distros, including many that are not listed above. It even runs on Valve's new "Steam Deck" in their desktop mode, as documented HERE.  Hundreds and hundreds of users have downloaded an AppImage version of LAC without reporting problems. You can download the current AppImage version of LAC from HERE, then just mark it as executable according to well-established LINUX norms, and it is ready to execute. Further information is available in our forums HERE.

In addition to the success we have enjoyed with our AppImage version, industry-standard repository packages have been published in the well-known "AUR" (Arch User Repository) and in several less official repositories. However, unless your LINUX distro is compatible with those repositories, they won't benefit you.
CLICK HERE (and also see FAQ 54) for updated details about LAC's progress in Linux repositories.

If the AppImage version doesn't work for you AND if your distro doesn't yet support LAC in its repository, then you will probably need to compile your own executable version from our published source code.

In that case, you ought to know that we do most of our development work on Intel-based, PC-compatible desktop and laptop computers running current, 64-bit versions of PcLinuxOs. If that describes your environment, then you can use the binary file that's always distributed, along with the corresponding source code, in our "Full" installation kits once you've downloaded the initial set of up-to-date prerequisites. Back in June 2017 we discovered that those binary versions also worked on 64-bit Ubuntu platforms of that era, once all of the prerequisite components were installed. However, as the underlying sofware library tools have evolved, it is commonplace for Ubuntu to reference required libraries with changed names and/or version numbers. In any case, if none of our published binary versions will work for you, recompiling LAC will be necessary in order to link to the properly referenced library files.

The standard, well-known, free software library tools that LAC uses are routinely updated from time to time. If you attempt to skip compilation by using the precompiled binary version that accompanies our regular, full source-code packages (normally this is compiled for 64-bit PcLinuxOs) on any compatible type of desktop LINUX, you may experience odd errors unless your LINUX is using the same version of the required libraries. If your LINUX libraries are significantly outdated and in conflict with the libraries we used when we compiled the official, "Full" LAC distribution with its source code, the corresponding, published executable will generate errors complaining that the proper library versions could not be found on your system. We endeavor to keep our libraries up-to-date when we compile LAC in our labs using 64-bit PcLinuxOs. If your libraries are up-to-date too, you shouldn't suffer from these errors when you use our conventional precompiled binary executable on PcLinuxOs or other, very similar versions of LINUX.  If you cannot obtain the same library versions that we used when we compiled our "Full" version of LAC with its source code, then you will have to recompile LAC with the best libraries you can get for your system. So long as your own system has any fairly recent version of the prerequisite library tools, recompiling LAC on your system will resolve all of the associated library references and the resulting executable will use your library versions as you would expect. Most users report that this is very easy and that no source code changes are needed. It's just a matter of downloading reasonably current versions of the proper prerequisite libraries for LAC before you recompile.

CLICK HERE for our list of prerequisite library tools.
CLICK HERE for help compiling LAC

Developers wishing to compile and/or customize LAC will benefit from the free, well-known "Codeblocks" integrated development environment, but experienced programmers can simply use our "makefile" according to well established norms. CLICK HERE to see our YouTube Playlist named "Linux Air Combat on Ubuntu Linux" showing exactly how we downloaded and installed Linux Air Combat on a brand new, 64-bit Ubuntu Linux desktop system in October 2017. Short clips within this playlist also show how we obtained all of the necessary prerequisites. Other short clips, also available in this playlist, even show exactly how we compiled LAC, using "Codeblocks", on these Ubuntu desktop machines. Although these video clips are now slightly outdated due to a few changed library names and minor differences in the libraries that come preinstalled, all of the illustrated principles are still valid. A newer version of this Playlist, updated in September of 2020, is available HERE.

If you are NOT running 64-bit PcLinuxOs, you could give the standard, precompiled binary that you will find with the source code a try, but success is unlikely.  The good news is that it is far easier to compile LAC than most other free, open-source projects, and many people without any prior compiling experience have reported success with it. Usually the entire process requires only an hour or so, even for beginners, and all of the required tools and resources are available absolutely free of charge on most LINUX platforms. 32-bit systems are fully interoperable with 64-bit systems, so you can compile it for your preferred architecture and desktop version of Linux.

Q03: How do I get the required prerequisites to run LAC on Ubuntu Linux?

A: Before you dive too deep into this, try our precompiled "AppImage" version as described HERE. Users have reported success with it on modern Ubuntu platforms. In that case you won't need any prerequisites.

LAC's AppImages may not work on Ubuntu Version 23.04 and later. To fix this problem, issue the following command:
   sudo apt install libfuse2

When conventionally compiled and linked, LAC requires additional libraries that do not come automatically on a generic installation of Ubuntu Linux. For the newest YouTube Playlist about compiling LAC on Ubuntu, (Sep2020) CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE for up-to-date discussions of LAC on Ubuntu desktop Linux.

Commands to install requisite libraries, issued into a bash command shell, are:

sudo apt-get install freeglut3
sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian

sudo apt-get install libsdl-mixer1.2

If none of our precompiled LAC versions run on your Ubuntu system after you've used commands like those illustrated above to obtain all of the required prerequisites, then you will need to compile your own binary version from the source code.

Q04: Do I really need a joystick?

A: No. It flies well with just a mouse and a standard keyboard.
Mouse Controls in flight
However, flight with mouse controls is less precise. Furthermore, if you want to fly online, in competition with other players, you will be at a disadvantage unless you are REALLY good at controlling complex things with your mouse, because LAC tends to attract sophisticated flight sim fanatics, and a lot of your online opponents will be using joysticks.

As an alternative, since version 8.31 (September 2020) you can even use the joystick contained within a modern console-style gaming controller. Wireless versions of these are readily available and especially nice.
LAC's configuration menus and LacControls.txt configuration file allow you to "map" axes and controller buttons with great flexibility. Here's an example:

Game Controller configured for LAC
Further information about configuring a USB Game Controller can be found in FAQ #53.  Here's a YouTube PlayList showing use of this type of wireless controller. And here is a brief YouTube video clip in which LAC is shown running on a tiny, inexpensive "Raspberry Pi" microcomputer that's hidden behind a big-screen TV and using a wireless game controller as the basis for flight controls:


Some of our users have published the results of their experimentation in our online forums, where you can see pictures of their experimental layouts alongside the associated configuration files that they used. Here's the link to that forum:

Q05: Do I really need the "Mumble" VOIP application?

A: No. The offline tutorial missions don't benefit from Mumble at all. You can even fly all of the online missions without Mumble, but when other players show up in your Realm and mission, you will be limited to the primitive, low-speed "Morse Code" (text) radio for communication with them. Online LAC is a lot more fun when you can join in voice conversation with partners and opponents. Mumble is completely free, and our dedicated Mumble server is generally available at, with preconfigured channels ready for your use in our many popular missions and accessible by LAC's preconfigured "Hot Keys". Hundreds of thousands of people use Mumble, all over the world, with a wide variety of computers, headsets, microphones, speakers, and even through Android and IOS phones and tablets. You should have little trouble getting it to work on your desktop Linux machine, and its integration with LAC is better than any other comparable application. If you install Mumble on your LAC machine without de-activating its standard Mumble interface (See FAQ #51), LAC will automatically find it and connect with our Mumble server for you. LAC will even automatically connect you with the appropriate Mumble channel as you change to different missions or teams. The intent is that people interested in a LAC session will just "hang out" on our Mumble server's "root" channel until other players show up, whereupon they can use Mumble to talk with one another and negotiate realms, missions,  and teams of their liking.

(If you are part of an established community that has been using some other VOIP application like "Discord" or "TeamSpeak", you and your friends can continue to use one of those alternative VOIP tools with LAC, and as an option, you can even optimize LAC's cockpit to better integrate your choice into LAC's cockpit instruments. Take a look at FAQ #45 for further details.)

Q06: I've got Mumble working. Long ago I read about setting up 26 Mumble-related "shortcuts" for optimal use with LAC. Do I really need to set up 26 special Mumble "Shortcuts" for use with LAC?

A: No.  Versions of LAC prior to 7.84 benefitted from those 26 shortcuts, but they were never absolutely required. Since September of 2019 with LAC 7.84, the 20 "channel-changing" shortcuts are no longer useful unless you configure LAC to disable its automatic management of Mumble (as described in FAQ#51). As a minimum, you will probably want to set up Mumble's "PTT1" (Push to Talk)  key
["F1"] so that you can easily transmit to the current channel, and Mumble's "PTT2" (Shout to Parent and Sub-channels) key ["F2"].  The four others  (Volume Down ["F3"], Volume Up ["F4"], Mute Microphone ["F5"], and Mute Speakers["F6"]) are handy, but they were never required.
Mumble Keyboard shortcuts
Older versions of LAC (prior to 7.84) required configuration of 26 Mumble "Shortcuts" to use the Mumble Voice Radio Keys as illustrated above. If you have updated your copy of LAC since September of 2019, twenty of those old Mumble "Shortcuts" are rendered unnecessary, and even more communication flexibility is automated when you press "F10" or "F11". Now LAC can directly switch you to the appropriate Mumble channel with no need for you to configure any of the channel-changing Mumble shortcuts. The "F10" key is particularly powerful. LAC uses that key to automatically switch you to the proper "TeamCast" channel for your current Realm, Team, and Mission. If LAC reports difficulty contacting your Forward Observer to obtain a report on enemy HQ status, just press "F10" to switch back to the TeamCast channel for your current mission and team.

A standard configuration of LAC now automatically switches you to the best TeamCast channels for your chosen Realm, Mission, and Team, so long as you have installed a standard desktop version of Mumble on the same computer hosting LAC.  As a consequence, so long as you configure your copy of Mumble with just TWO simple "shortcuts", you're always ready to speak with team-mates by holding down "F1", and you're always ready to speak with everybody in your mission, on BOTH teams, by holding down "F2".  HERE is a brief YouTube video clip showing exactly how we configure Mumble shortcuts.

If you disable LAC's automated Mumble management (as described in FAQ51) or if you use some other Mumble-compatible tool or app on a phone, tablet or different computer and have some other way of manually switching among the channels offered on our Mumble server, you can use any method that makes you happy. For example, it's perfectly fine just to use your mouse pointer to click on one of our Mumble channels. The usual pattern would be to click on our "Root" channel at first, in order to speak with others that may be "hanging out" there. Use our Mumble server's "root" channel to speak with others, in combination with Mumble's "PTT" ("Push to Talk") key, to negotiate participation in a mutually agreeable combination of realm, mission, team, and player ID settings. Once all of that is negotiated for a particular mission, associated players will want to switch to the corresponding mumble "Team" channel from our Mumble server. This can all be done manually from a separate computer, or it is done automatically if you have installed Mumble on the same computer hosting LAC.
Mumble client connected to server
For example, take a look at the accompanying illustration of Mumble in action during a MissionNetworkBattle03 session within Realm "0". As you can see, related Mumble channels are organized like members of a family. Mumble channels can have "Parents", "Children", and "Siblings". Each of our missions has three Mumble Channels dedicated to its use: One "Parent" channel, like "MissionNetworkBattle03", which, in turn, has two "Children", who become "Siblings" to one another. The BlueTeam player named "Lincoln" has entered the channel named "M3Blue" in the "Realm0" area of our LinuxAirCombat channels. That "M3Blue" channel is a "Child" of the "MissionNetworkBattle03" channel, and it is a "Sibling" of the adjacent "M3Red" channel. Other members of the "BlueTeam" are expected to enter that same M3Blue channel when they join the mission, and they will all be able to converse with one another. A standard configuration of LAC will automatically switch all BlueTeam players of MissionNetworkBattle03 into that channel if they have installed Mumble on their computers. Otherwise, if they have installed Mumble on their phone or something, they will need to do this manually.

The RedTeam player named "Monroe", on the other hand, has entered the adjacent "M3Red" channel as a member of the RedTeam for that same realm and mission. Other members of the "RedTeam" are expected to enter that channel with Monroe, and they will all be able to converse with one another, without interference from BlueTeam conversations. Again, LAC will try to do this automatically for all of the RedTeam players entering MissionNetworkBattle03 within Realm "0".

As a member of the BlueTeam, whenever you want to transmit in private to other BlueTeam members, you could just use Mumble's "PTT1" key ["F1"] from within that "M3Blue" channel.  We call this "TeamCasting", because your voice transmissions are focused on your own team and are isolated from those tuned to the adjacent, opposing team channel ("M3Red"). Whenever you want to broadcast your voice to members of both teams,  while remaining in your TeamCast channel, you could use Mumble's "PTT2" key ["F2"] in "Shout" mode, designating the "Parent" channel and all of its subchannels as the target of your broadcast transmissions. That way, in the example illustrated above, if "Lincoln" holds down Mumble's "PTT2"  key ["F2"] and begins speaking, anybody tuned to any of the three channels associated with Realm0 and MissionNetworkBattle03 will hear his voice, since Mumble will broadcast on the "parent" of Lincoln's channel ("MissionNetworkBattle03"), and on all of that channel's "sub-channels" (which would include both "M3Blue" and "M3Red").  LAC's standard keyboard arrangment uses "F2" for that, but of course you are free to make changes as you deem appropriate, so long as your choice doesn't conflict with keyboard keys already in use. Note that you CANNOT use "F2" for those "MissionCast" transmissions until you take some specific steps to optimize Mumble with at least two Mumble "shortcuts". HERE is a brief YouTube video clip showing exactly how we configure Mumble shortcuts.

All of these details make it sound complicated, but it really isn't difficult. Just install Mumble on your computer and let LAC automate your placement into the appropriate "TeamCast" channel for private conversations among your team mates, using "F1" to transmit. Then, if you want to transmit to everybody on both teams, just hold down "F2". Whenever your communication needs demand some other mode, just press one of the twenty-three communication-related "Hot Keys" as illustrated in our keyboard diagram above, to activate the corresponding channel or function. You can always get directly back to your TeamCast channel by pressing "F10"..

Q07: How can I learn the damage/repair status of the enemy airfield?

A: All of LAC's online, multiplayer missions include provisions for secret "forward observers" that can spy on enemy airfields from safe hilltops, using a telescope. Each will report on what he can see of your currently selected target by voice radio when you press "F12". The appropriate observer will immediately try to report on what he can see as he takes a peek at the enemy resource that you have currently selected as your target. Note that your forward observer can make two different types of reports, and that he may select either of those options at random. Furthermore, LAC's radio channels tend to get busy and noisy, with the "fog of war", when the action is intense,  resulting in radio interference that can disrupt reception. Accordingly, you may need to press the "F12" key several times in order to receive a complete summary of all available information. Each time you do this, your forward observer will try to send you another description of the operational status of the strategic, mission resource that you have selected as your current "Target".

Q08: Will it run on a Raspberry Pi?

A: YES! On the new Raspberry Pi Model 4b, the most powerful Pi available at the time of this writing, LAC runs very nicely.  Even the smallest, lowest-priced Raspberry Pi 4B, which comes with 2GB of RAM, is sufficient! It also runs nicely on the Raspberry Pi Model 400. (We tried it several years ago on a Raspbery Pi model "2", which did NOT have enough power to enjoy LAC.)

In our experience, LAC performs best when configured for "720P" resolution on the Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, due to a well-known bug in the Raspberry Pi firmware, 720P video can cause the Raspberry Pi to generate a lot of radio noise that interferes with WiFi in the 2.4 Ghz range. Acccordingly, we recommend configuring your Pi's Wifi for the 5Ghz band unless it is located VERY close to your Wireless Access Point.

CLICK HERE for our web page about LAC on the Raspberry Pi.

Q09: Which is the best airplane for beginners?

A: All of LAC's WWII aircraft are modelled after deadly warbirds. Each has its own, historically based, strengths and weaknesses. When flown within its own optimal design parameters versus an opponent forced to fly outside his optimal parameters, each of our aircraft can be formidable. Online pilots may engage you in tight-turning, low-speed "dogfights", or they may swoop down upon you at high speed from above, or they may attack your airfield from a bomber, using their automated, multiple guns against you if you get too close. Some aircraft are more deadly at high speed, while others excel at low speed. Some can dive away from trouble with ease, while others are likely to crash into the ground attempting the same dive. Even at low speed, some can easily climb away from trouble. When starting out at high speed, some can "zoom" almost straight up for several thousand feet. Others will stall after attempting just half that amount of "zoom climb". With practice, you'll learn that it's most effective to set up your fights in situations where your opponent is forced to fly on terms favorable to you.

In general, you will want to gain speed and altitude before you engage any opponent in combat. None of LAC's aircraft can maneuver very well if they are flying too slowly, and if you are too low to dive down and pick up speed, your options are limited. Furthermore, the violent maneuvers used in combat tend to slow you down. For this reason, beginners will generally want to pick an airplane that climbs well. When selecting an airplane, beginners should probably look for one that can climb at least 3,000 feet per minute.

At first, beginners tend to best understand the geometries and maneuvers associated with tight-turning, low-speed dogfights. In that environment, the Spitfire is easy to fly and quick to turn. Most beginners love it (especially the more powerful "Spitfire Mark 9" version). The F6F is similar, as is the Mitsubishi A6M5 "Zero". The USA's P51 "Mustang" is a little faster and still fairly easy to control, but it can't turn quite as well. The P38 is a bit more complicated because you really need to understand use of flaps and dive brakes to fly it safely. On the other hand, because the P38's two engines turn in opposite directions, each cancels the torque induced by the other, so it does not suffer from torque-induced roll like single-engine fighters. If you're a "Lightning" fan you could give it a try.

Heavier aircraft, like the medium and strategic bombers, require a lot more patience, because it can take a long time for them to climb to sufficient altitude and build up enough speed to get into their optimal fighting environments. Beginners are likely to find these aircraft frustrating, but experts can use them to dominate the strategic situation in any of the online, multiplayer missions.

Q10: Is it OK to "Vulch"

A: Yes. "Vulching" (the practice of diving on helpless, low-flying aircraft that have just entered a mission to shoot them down before they reach escaping or maneuvering speed) is allowed in all of our missions. If you can set up a "vulching" opportunity, you are encouraged to take full advantage of it. If you are being "vulched" a lot, you need to take off from different airfields, or change the way you fly! "Vulching" has been a real part of every air war. The mission named "MissionNetworkBattle01" is specifically designed to model the extensive use of "vulching" that characterized many World War II air battles. 

Moderation, however, is appropriate when "vulching", as it can be discouraging to get vulched. In particular, if your opponent is new to LAC, it would be a good idea to talk with them and teach them how to avoid being victimized in this way. It's good for our community to encourage new people!

Q11: Are jets allowed?

A: Yes, but LAC's jet is the only aircraft that is not historically based, so if you want the best available realism, you should avoid it. If you see other jets participating in a whimsical mission, feel free to join them with another jet. However, it would be very rude to drive a jet into a well-organized group of WW2 aircraft that are trying to mimic historic flight. It's a good idea to use Mumble to ask about this.

Q12: How do I defend against missiles?

A: That's a good question. Because LAC's focus is on World War II, unguided rockets are used a lot, but "guided" missiles are only carried by LAC's single, whimsical jet airplane. Accordingly, missiles aren't used very much. When they are used, LAC's guided missiles aren't very smart, and most of the time they don't lock on to their targets very well, so you may not need to worry about them unless your opponent has a lot of practice flying into optimal range before using them. In the online, multiplayer missions, you can't see or hear missiles in flight, and the RADAR doesn't see them either.  In those online, multiplayer missions, keep a wary eye on your SystemMessage panel (the three-line, scrolling text area) for messages about missile launches. When anybody in your current mission launches a rocket or missile, you will see a message alerting you of who it was. When using the latest versions of LAC (since version 6.42), you will hear five LOUD "beeps" if the missile or rocket was fired by a nearby opponent, or five softer "beeps" if the missile or rocket is launched from farther away. If the missile was fired by a nearby opponent, it would be prudent to turn hard to break the missile lock when you hear those five loud beeps (especially if you can see the opponent behind you and within missile range)!

Q13: How do I land my airplane?

CLICK HERE for a YouTube video clip demonstrating LAC landing steps.

A: Almost every mission has airfields. They are very simple, straight, flat, black strips on the terrain. They are fairly easy to spot from the air, and generally they are even easier to spot from "Map Mode". You will need to throttle back, slow down to about 170 MPH or lower (it will help to enter a shallow climb for awhile, or make some forceful turns to "burn off speed" as you slow down), and then drop flaps ["d"] and undercarriage ["g"]. Then, being careful to keep your speed low enough to prevent your flaps and undercarriage from automatically retracting, turn toward one end of one of the runways and adjust throttle, elevator, rudder, and aileron so that your speed diminishes to the point of stalling as your aircraft flies level over the near end of the runway, just a few feet up. Strong, dominant maneuvers will help you dissipate extra speed. If you get slow too soon, you may find yourself in danger of a stall before you are in position over the runway. In that case you will need to apply throttle carefully. Don't just slam your throttle forward if you are near stall speed, because your engine may be powerful enough to force your aircraft into a roll in the direction opposite prop rotation. Smooth, gradual throttle and flight surface adjustments will keep you alive! If you time everything right, you will hear a satisfying "squeak" as your tires brush the pavement, and your cockpit status panel will show no damage as your aircraft rolls to a gradual stop.

In strategic missions, your aircraft is also re-armed and refueled, and if damaged, it is automatically repaired after you come to a complete stop on a runway, unless your chosen airfield is too damaged to offer those robust services. (Just wait awhile on the runway until your instruments settle down to indicate that you have been repaired, refueled, and re-armed.) 
If you see messages on your cockpit's System Panel informing you that your chosen airfield is too damaged to fully arm and re-fuel your aircraft, you can fly to some other airfield and try again.

Q14: How do I take off?

CLICK HERE for a YouTube video clip demonstrating LAC takeoff steps.

A: All of the current missions spawn you in the air. Most of the online ones spawn you at low altitude, at low speed, almost out of fuel, fairly close to an airfield. Before you can ever take off, you must land as described above. Taxi to one end of the runway, and use your rudder to turn around. Use "short field" techniques to take off. Retract your flaps ["u"] all the way so air resistance is minimized at first. Gradually throttle all the way up. You will need all the power you can get in order to take off in a WW2 aircraft, but build up speed gradually so that you exceed 70 MPH before applying full throttle. This will help your control surfaces to dominate your engine's tendency to roll your aircraft opposite the direction of prop rotation.  After your airspeed builds up above about 90 MPH, extend your flaps all the way down ["d"], and, if necessary to lift off, gently pull back on your joystick. Be ready to use your ailerons to keep your wings level, especially in single-engine aircraft with big propellers, because engine torque may assert a powerful tendency to roll as soon as one of your wheels leaves the ground. After you get going fast enough to enjoy good response from your rudder and ailerons, you may even want to use "War Emergency Power" ["w"] if your airplane allows it. Most of the runways are slightly elevated above adjacent terrain, so if you run out of runway before reaching sustainable flight speed, you may be able to dip down a bit as you fly off the end of the field to pick up enough speed. Your aircraft will take off safely if you get the timing right. Retract your undercarriage right away ["g"]. Keep your climb angle very shallow until your speed exceeds about 115 MPH, and then begin raising your flaps all the way up to their normal position for high-speed flight ["u"]. Once your airspeed exceeds about 130 MPH your ailerons will easily overcome torque roll and it will be easier to keep your wings level. At any speed above about 180MPH your aircraft should be able to maneuver nicely. 

Q15: How do I find the other players or aircraft that are flying in the same mission with me?

A: Identifying and finding other LAC players online is facilitated by a rich set of tools, including your radios and your  "CommunityHandle", which you should configure soon after you establish your presence among our online community. More details about your "CommunityHandle" can be found near the end of this FAQ#15.

The LAC Server constantly publishes a web page listing the CommunityHandles of all players currently online. Use any popular web browser to examine that page here:

Before you start flying online, it's best to install the free, well-known "Mumble" VOIP application and check in on our Mumble server at Unless you specifically configure LAC to de-activate its management of Mumble (as described in FAQ#51), LAC will automatically make the required Mumble connections for you if you have Mumble installed on the same computer. CLICK HERE for a nice series of highly focused "YouTube" video clips showing how to download, install, configure, and use Mumble with LAC.

Just "hanging out" in our mumble server's "Root" channel will let you know when somebody else joins to do the same, and from there members of the LAC community can talk with one another to arrange missions, schedules, and team affiliations. Because our LAC community is just getting started, upon joining our Mumble server, you might find that you are the only one there. With patience, you can just wait for somebody else, and we usually have one or two people checking in for at least one or two hours daily, but you will definitely need to be patient until our community grows. (It is commonplace to see several "inactive" or nonresponsive players hanging out in the various channels of our Mumble Server. Those are computers used in our development laboratories, and they are unattended most of the time.) You will probably have a better experience if you encourage one of your own friends to join you on a mutually agreeable schedule.
If you can't find any other players, try announcing your intentions on the "Root" channel of our Mumble server. If anybody in our development laboratories is within earshot, they will want to talk with you and they can let you know if the servers are up. They might even join you in flight!
LAC Router Panel 
Once you start flying within a multi-player mission, your "NETWORK ROUTER PANEL" is your best tool for finding other players. CLICK HERE for a YouTube Video clip showing what the newly introduced Router Panel looked like when three nearby players were participating in an old, six-player, test mission. That panel has two rows, each with room for as many as 10 little lights to flash. The top row (Labeled "P") indicates the arrival of a network telemetry "Position" packet from a networked player participating in the current mission and realm.  You should see a rapidly flashing light representing your own aircraft on that row, and its left-right position will correspond with your numeric mission ID, typically between 1 and 10. (In the accompanying illustration, a "Position" packet has just arrived from player 8.) If you see any OTHER lights flashing in that top row, you can know for sure that the corresponding player is participating in your mission. If their simulated location is near yours, then their little light will be flashing very rapidly. On the other hand, if they are flying far away from you, then their little light will flash much more slowly. (At extreme distances, you will only see a flash about once every 10 seconds.) If you see no lights flashing other than your own after 20 seconds of attentive observation, then you are all alone in the mission and realm. (You will still be able to shoot at your own "bots", but that's all...) 
Your RADAR is another important tool for finding other players. Make sure it is "ON" ["r"]. CLICK HERE for a brief YouTube video clip introducing LAC's RADAR. Zoom RADAR range in ["Home"] and out ["End"] far enough to see subtle little colored "dots" marking the positions of mission "bots", or big, bright red or blue dots representing online players. The RADAR screen is oriented so that your own position is always at the center. Dots above that point are generally in front of you. Dots below that point are generally behind you. Dots to the left of that center point represent aircraft to your left, etc. The distance between your position in the center of the RADAR display and any dot is proportional to their distance from you in the simulated world. Zoom your RADAR range in ["Home"] and out ["End"] as necessary to see dots representing aircraft (take a look at the standard keyboard layout image at the top of this page for help locating the keys that zoom your RADAR range in and out). You can use the "Target Next Red" ["n"] and "Target Previous Blue" ["p"] commands to "Select" one of the RADAR blips for special attention as your current "Target". Thereafter, some of your cockpit instruments will continuously display extra information about that target, and the selected RADAR blip will have a bright, white dot in its center.

CLICK HERE for basic YouTube training on use of the "TargetNexRed" and "TargetPreviousBlue" commands.

In addition to Red and Blue Dots, you will also see grey dots sometimes. When your "Identify Friend or Foe" equipment is damaged, disabled, or destroyed, all of the RADAR dots will turn grey and you will need to use other means to determine team affiliation. This can happen if your own aircraft is damaged, or if friendly airfield RADAR equipment is damaged. Furthermore, if you inflict "friendly fire" that damages one of your own team-mates or your own airfield, your IFF will be disabled and all of the dots on your RADAR display will turn grey (See FAQ #58 for more details about the way friendly fire affects IFF). You can always try to re-enable IFF by pressing ["I"]. Depending on the cause of the failure, the severity of the failure, the tactical situation, and other factors, this may or may not work. Sometimes waiting a minute or two and trying again will re-start your IFF equipment.

Each bot or network player is associated with a numeric player designator within the mission (typically between 1 and 10).  As you select a target, the corresponding player number is displayed on your cockpit, and you will hear a vocalization of the associated number and team affiliation (like "Red Three"). In online missions with human players, you should just ignore the "bots" (dim, small RADAR dots)  and pay attention to the other human players or blokes (big, bright RADAR dots). After selecting a target, you can get additional help locating them by using the target "VOCALIZE" command ["v"], which will speak to you with a sentence like "Target Six is at Three O'clock, Angel's five". This means that you have selected target six within this mission, which is located to your right, flying at about five thousand feet altitude.

In the accompanying illustration, RADAR Range is set so that the edges of the circular RADAR display are 200 KM from the center. A BlueTeam strategic bomber is nearby, as indicated by the large, blue diamond icon. Two RedTeam human players, indicated by bright square icons, are also nearby, and one of them is marked with a white dot to indicate that he is selected as the current target. If you look carefully you can also see two smaller red dots and two smaller blue dots. Those represent "bot" players, of little interest to this situation, since the online, human players ought to be getting all of the attention so long as they are present.

Finding other players is also facilitated by LAC's naming system for players. As an option, players can advertise a unique name, or "CommunityHandle" for themselves that will be seen by everybody participating with them in an online, multiplayer mission. This can be done by using a simple text editor to edit the "CommunityHandle" field within your ~home/.LAC/LacConfig.txt configuration file. Use a maximum of 8 characters to choose a name for yourself that is likely to be unique throughout the LAC community (when LAC processes this file, it actually records as many as 15 characters, but only the first 8 are seen on the cockpit panels of other players). In flight, use your "SelectNextRed" ["n"] or "SelectPreviousBlue" ["p"] keys to cycle through all of the aircraft and ground objects comprising the current mission. If within RADAR display range, the selected object will be marked with a bright white dot, and it will be identified in a little text window near the left side of your cockpit, using the "CommunityHandle" if it has been configured, or a simple numeric designator otherwise. CLICK HERE for a brief YouTube video demonstrating use of these "CommunityHandles" to learn the names of individual players.

In flight, if you haven't installed "Mumble" for voice communication yet, you can use the "Morse Code Radio" (as described in FAQ19 and FAQ28) to ask other players for their locations within the mission. However, communication via the Morse Code Radio is slow, cumbersome, and subject to interference from other players transmitting at the same time. CLICK HERE for a page with YouTube clips and basic training on use of the Morse Code Radio.

In October of 2021 we published a new version of LAC (designated Lac08p48) that improves your ability to customize your CommunityHandle. While in online flight, you can now transmit a specially formatted Morse Code message to set or change your CommunityHandle, informing all other online players in the process. The special format of this message requires you to transmit eight or more sequential "H" characters, followed by a space, then your chosen CommunityHandle, followed by another space. The changed CommunityHandle value is retained in your LacConfig.txt file for use in all subsequent online activity.

Q16: How does it perform WITHOUT an nVidia or ATI accelerated graphics card?

A: Under a lightweight version of LINUX, LAC can run splendidly with a simple, very low-cost Intel graphics card and celeron CPU, especially if you are willing to diminish the video quality settings and/or run it in a smaller window. It even runs nicely on a Raspberry Pi 4b if view range is kept reasonable and graphical detail is not set too high. Here is a YouTube video clip by Stefano Peris, who decided to set up a torture test. Using a very low-cost computer with only Intel graphics, he ran LAC at the highest possible graphic detail and got "good enough" performance. CLICK HERE to see it on YouTube.

Q17: How are online teams and missions organized?

A: In the online, multiplayer missions, all players are automatically assigned to one of two teams, named "BLUE" and "RED", respectively. This assignment is based upon your player number within the mission. This is initially configured from LAC's multiplayer mission menu screens, and thereafter it is preserved as the "MyNetworkId" parameter within your ~home/.LAC/LacConfig.txt file. If you have an odd number there, you will be assigned to the "RED" team, and players with even numbers are assigned to the "BLUE" team. (If two players both try to use the same number, LAC will automatically change one of them within a few seconds.) You will see your player number displayed along the left edge of your cockpit instrument panel, and you will hear an audio message that will welcome you into the mission, referring to you by that number. (As described in FAQ#43, you can change that number by manually editing the ~home/.LAC/LacConfig.txt file with a simple text editor, or you can rely on LAC to manage it for you automatically when you join an online mission.)

These missions ALWAYS simulate 10 aircraft, even if there are fewer than 10 human players participating. In that case, the other aircraft are "bots", flown automatically by your own computer, or "blokes" replaying prior human activity that the server activates from time to time just to keep things interesting. RADAR dots, HUD target frames, Mumble channel designators and messages are colored red or blue according to their team affiliation just as one might expect (anything affecting both teams is colored purple). The blue and red colors used to represent bots are pale and subdued, but the colors used to represent network-connected  humans (also known as "Sentients") are bold and bright.  When flying with or against other sentient players in these missions, you really should just ignore the "bots", because the bot positions you see on your computer do NOT correspond with bot positions seen by the other players on their computers; only the positions and actions of replay blokes and Sentient players are transmitted on the network.

Defend your own airfields and ships from hostile aircraft while you and your team-mates attack the hostile airfields and ships. Airfield damage is retained between sorties, so long as at least one player remains active in the mission. Most missions  end when the last player exits, or when all of the strategic airfields and ships owned by one of the teams are destroyed. When either team wins, all of the players see an appropriate declaration of victory or defeat, accompanied by dramatic, situation-appropriate music and 15-second countdown with a warning that the mission is about to end. Any players that are still flying when those 15 seconds expire are immediately destroyed and returned to LAC's menus.  Restart the mission to re-establish the expected competition.

Three of our online, multi-player, server-based missions are considered to be our "classics". In all three of those missions, BLUE team members will find their HQ at airfield 28, and RED team members will find their HQ at airfield 29. Each team gets a few additional, tactically important airfields, sometimes informally numbered as "Blue1", "Blue2", "Blue3", "Blue4", "Red1", "Red2", "Red3", and "Red4", where "Blue1" and "Red1" are another convenient way to refer to the two HQ airfields. All of these "classic" mission airfields are located in a straight East/West line, where the RedTeam fields are on the East side and the BlueTeam fields are toward the West. The two HQ airfields are adjacent one another, with the remaining fields of each side farther out. Other fields, to the North and South, are also available for refuel, re-arm, and repair activities. Following the established map arrangements, the Northern and Southern fields on the west side belong to the BlueTeam, while the Northern and Southern fields on the east side belong to the RedTeam. When starting out with LAC, we recommend those three "classic" missions. (Mission #3 is the simplest.)

As LAC development progresses, additional missions are added from time to time. Newer missions tend to be bigger and more complex, but they retain the same, basic, "BlueTeam versus RedTeam" strategic foundation. These newer missions generally require destruction of more opposing airfields in order to achieve victory, and they may introduce additional narration, video clips, and strategic mission objects like aircraft carriers, other moving ships, or gun batteries. At first, a new mission may not be fully developed and you may discover implementation errors. Please use our online forums (HERE) to learn further details about additional missions (and to report any errors you discover).

In all of our online missions, strategic airfields defend themselves with very powerful anti-aircraft guns that can hit nearby opponents up to an altitude of 10,000 feet. In ocean-based missions, HQ airfields can be further assisted by battleships, aircraft carriers, or naval destroyers, whose anti-aircraft guns can also reach up to 10,000 feet. Some missions fortify selected geographic features with additional artillery batteries.

(You DON'T want to blunder into a position over an enemy airfield or other strategic resource, because they can easily shoot you down if they are undamaged! During your first few online flights, whenever you are unsure about navigation, it's generally a good idea to select your own airfield as your primary RADAR target. That will help you a lot with the basics of navigation, making it much easier for you to get headed into a safe direction by turning until the white RADAR dot highlighting your own airfield is directly above the centerpoint of your RADAR display.)

It's important to remember that airfield damage is retained ONLY while at least one player is active in the mission, and that it takes a few seconds for airfield damage reports to propogate among the online players. If you are the only online player, any airfield damage you've inflicted is lost when you exit the mission. Furthermore, upon joining a mission with other players, it can take as long as 20 seconds for your computer to learn the damage/repair status of the mission's distant airfields. Accordingly, even when other players are participating, if you exit a mission within just a few seconds after inflicting some airfield damage, that damage may never propogate to the other players, and when you re-enter the mission you may get a rude surprise from the still-undamaged airfield!

Q18: How does the Norden bombsight work?

A: In any of the current online, multiplayer missions, use the keyboard key configured within your ~home/.LAC/LacControls.txt file as "key_WEAPONSELECT"  to cycle through your aircraft's available weapons (usually this is the asterisk key of your numeric keypad). If your aircraft is lugging any bombs, an indicator will illuminate near the extreme lower-right corner of your cockpit to indicate the number of available "BOMB 500 LB" weapons. If at least one bomb is available and selected, then you can activate your Norden Bombsight. Use the keyboard key configured within your ~home/.LAC/LacControls.txt file as "key_MapViewOnOff" to toggle your view system into "Map Mode" (usually this is "m"). An aerial map of the vicinity beneath your aircraft will appear. Unless you have "scrolled" your map away from its center point, your aircraft is in the exact center of that map. If you have armed at least one available bomb, then helpful, white text will appear at the bottom of the map alerting you of the other conditions necessary to activate the Norden bombsight. That text will tell you that you must "zoom" the map all the way out ["Delete"]. Under those conditions, a new set of helpful, green text will appear that will instruct you in the use of the two "pippers" that will also appear. That text will inform you that the small white circle pipper, always starting out at the center of the Norden bombsight map, represents your aircraft as the map scrolls beneath you according to the direction of your travel. The small round green pipper, known as a "CCIP" or "Continuously Computed Impact Point", marks the approximate place on the map, directly ahead of your current flight direction, where an immediately dropped bomb is likely to strike the ground after it has had time to fall all the way to earth. This prediction works best when your aircraft is flying within certain calibrated altitude and airspeed boundaries, as described in the text at the bottom of the Norden Bombsight map screen. If your flight parameters are outside of those calibrated norms (too high, too low, too fast, or too slow), then the impact point prediction won't be very accurate. Fly your aircraft so that the green pipper is centered over your target, and then release your bomb with the joystick button or keyboard key configured within your ~home/.LAC/LacControls.txt file as "joystick_FIRESECONDARY" or "key_SECONDARY" (Our standard keyboard arrangement uses your ["Right Alt"] key for that, immediately to the right of your space bar). If your aircraft is stable, flying within the calibrated altitude and speed ranges, and if your hand is steady, a hit on or near the target is fairly likely, and damage will accumulate and propogate to other online players after the bomb has had enough time to fall all the way to the ground. CLICK HERE for YouTube instruction on LAC's Map Mode and the Norden Bombsight.

CLICK HERE for a nice, narrated YouTube clip showing a succcessful bombing mission.

Q19: How does the "Morse Code Radio" work?
Morse Code Radio
A: In any of the current online, multiplayer missions, use the keyboard's "Caps Lock" key to toggle your main alphanumeric keys between "Morse Radio" mode and "Flight" mode. When in "Flight Mode", your keyboard keys are mapped to flight functions as shown in the illustration at the top of this page. When in "Morse Radio" mode, a new "Morse Radio Panel" is illuminated on your cockpit panel, and pressing any of the alphabetic, numeric, and unshifted punctuation keys of your main keyboard causes transmission of the associated character to all players participating in the same mission and realm. Characters transmitted or received through this "Morse Radio" scroll horizontally, one at a time, through a small window on your cockpit (just below the "Mumble Panel") so everybody can see them. Immediately above this new "Morse Radio Panel" text window, a single character identifies the transmitting player with a number between "1" and "10". That identifying number will be colored Red or Blue as appropriate to the transmitting player's team affiliation. (It always represents the identity of the player associated with the most recent character.)

CLICK HERE for basic YouTube training on operation of LAC's Morse Code Radio.
CLICK HERE for a wonderful YouTube clip showing a great dogfight versus a player that hadn't installed Mumble for voice comms, so we made extensive use of the Morse Code Radio as we got to know one another.

When transmitting a message on the Morse Code radio, don't type too fast. Morse Code is a rather slow communication mode. Watch the Morse Radio's horizontally scrolling text indicator. If your outgoing characters are skipped, you need to slow your typing down.

Whether transmitting or receiving a Morse Code character, you will hear the associated Morse code beeps, accurately represented in the short "dots" and "dashes" of real Morse code!

Effective use of the Morse Radio is vastly aided by the following, well-known conventions (which are still used by radio amateurs and other proponents of Morse code):

A typical Morse transmission starts off using the well-known "VVV" tradition, meaning "ATTENTION EVERYBODY", or "CQ CQ CQ", meaning "CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?", or else it should identify a specific recipient, like "P5" (meaning "MESSAGE FOR PLAYER 5"). Then, it is good practice to identify yourself with something like "DE P3" (meaning "this transmission is from Player 3").  After that, our LAC community is developing a set of standardized abbreviations or useful phrases, like "UP 28 IN LITE P38 FOR CAP" (meaning "I have just taken off from field Blue 28 in a P38, I've shed my bombs and rockets, and I am setting up a defensive Combat Air Patrol.")  etc. So a typical Morse Radio transmission might look like this:

   VVV DE P1 UP 29 IN ME163 FOR P10.

That message would be interpreted like this: "Attention all participants: this is Player Red1. I have launched from airfield 29 (The RedTeam HQ) in a Messerschmidt Me163 "Komet" and I am heading for player Blue10".

One other detail of the Morse Code radio: currently there is no obvious way to send a question mark. With the current implementation, we use the "Reverse Slash" key (which looks like this: "\") to represent a question mark.  The operator might use his standard keyboard to enter a typical query like this:

    P5 DE P1 WHERE R U\

But  those keystrokes are displayed (and heard in Morse code) like this:

    P5 DE P1 WHERE R U?

That message should be interpreted like this: "Player Red5, this is Player Red1. Where are you?"

Your Morse Code Radio is of particular importance for establishing your CommunityHandle and for synchronizing your entire team's use of Mumble channels. LAC uses some advanced Mumble commands in conjunction with seven types of specially formatted Morse Code Radio messages. See FAQ #39 and the last sentences of FAQ #15 for more details about this.

Q20: How do I destroy the enemy RADAR?

A: Drop a bomb directly on the RADAR tower's base, or hit it with 2 rockets, or strafe it agressively, for several passes, with heavy cannons or multiple machine guns.  The enemy RADAR antenna will either stop spinning, or explode and fall to the ground. At that point, if the victim's team has no more functioning RADAR facilities, all of the RADAR indicators in all of that team's aircraft will go dark. Instead of the usual RADAR dots marking the relative locations of objects within RADAR range, they will see text announcing "NO SIGNAL". They will be unable to use RADAR until their surviving ground personnel can make repairs.

Note that RADAR can also fail if other airfield damage is so extensive that no surviving equipment can transmit RADAR information to the team's aircraft. In that case, although the RADAR antenna continues to spin as usual, RADAR functions are unavailable to the team's players.

Surviving maintenance personnel will immediately try to repair the RADAR and other airfield facilities. If accumulated damage was extensive, those repairs will take more time. Attacking aircraft can interfere with this maintenance activity by dropping additional ordnance on the RADAR tower or rubble, or simply by flying around in close proximity to the damaged airfield (which will intimidate the maintenance personnel). Defending aircraft can accelerate repairs by clearing the area of hostile aircraft and establishing a friendly "Combat Air Patrol" over their damaged airfields. This will give the maintenance personnel the confidence they need in order to use their mechanized tools, resulting in much faster repairs.

Q21: What is the role of the Battleships I see moored near the HQ airfields in MissionNetworkBattle01 and MissionNetworkBattle03?
A: In the "classic" missions, battleships don't move around, but they are loaded with powerful anti-aircraft guns that help to defend the adjacent airfield. You cannot win those three "classic" battles until after you destroy the enemy's HQ airfield and any adjacent battleship. Battleships are big, but not nearly so big as airfields, so they can be harder to hit with bombs or rockets. Many players find that battleship attacks are best done from a dive bomber like the Junkers JU87, due to its great bombing accuracy. Dive bombing attacks against battleships are a lot safer after the airfield's main anti-aircraft guns have been seriously weakened. It's best to attack battleships by approaching the airfield from directly North or from directly South.

Experimentation has demonstrated that game play benefits from battleships that are easier to destroy than traditional, heavy battleships like "Bismarck" or "Yamato" or "Iowa". Accordingly, LAC's battleship is a lightly armored "Pocket Battleship" (similar to Germany's "Deutschland", "Admiral Scheer", and her infamous "Admiral Graf Spee"), which implies a large, lightweight ship built for speed but armed with heavy cannons larger than the 8-inch guns generally used by naval cruisers. The durability of LAC's battleship allows its destruction when hit by as few as four bombs or by 3 bombs and about 8 well-placed rockets, simulating the practice (commonplace among battleship crews in the early war period) of staging explosive shells and charges all throughout the ship in preparation for rapid gun loading, and making them surprisingly vulnerable to incendiary bombs or bullets. A patient, skilled, brave B25 pilot can even sink LAC's battleship with a sustained onslaught from its heavy, devastating guns and cannon.

In the two "classic" missions that are ocean-based, so long as the battleship is afloat, the nearby airstrip's strength is always at least 15%. Accordingly, if you are attacking a "classic" mission's HQ airfield but radio reports of its strength seem to be "stuck" between 10% and 20%, perhaps you need to switch your attention to the battleship. Once the battleship is sunk, any residual anti-aircraft guns on the airstrip can generally be dealt with through rocket attacks or strafing.

Q22: How does the "Gun Camera" work and what can I do with it?

A: Server Missions: Gun Camera recordings are now captured by the LAC Server, and can be replayed, as "Server Missions".

To record a GunCamera session while you are in one of the online, multiplayer missions, just press [c] on your keyboard. Near the upper right-hand corner of your cockpit panel, you will see the previously unused letter "c" get brighter in response, and you will see a brief message scroll into the bottom of your cockpit's "SystemMessage" panel indicating that you have begun requesting Gun Camera services from the LAC Server.  This means that the LAC Server has begun storing a copy of everything happening in the mission for future replay.  Continue to fly in this mode (the little "c" will remain bright) for as long as activities remain interesting. When you want the recording to end, press "c" again, and the cockpit indicator will go dim again. You'll also see another new message scroll into the bottom of your cockpit's "SystemMessage" panel, indicating that you have stopped requesting Gun Camera services. If your Gun Camera session is good enough to benefit the entire LAC community, our admins may select it for general-purpose use and you may get to re-live it even if you don't ask us specifically for it. (On the other hand, we will try to make it available for your own, more private use in response to an email query as described below.)

Several simple missions of this type have already been recorded, and the server frequently replays them to make online play more interesting. If you have recorded a guncamera segment and want to see it replayed by the server as a Server Mission in which you and/or friends can fly, please contact us by email at: Include these facts about the guncamera segment that you recorded:

  1. Realm
  2. MissionId
  3. Start Date
  4. Start Time (GMT)
  5. Approximate duration
  6. A brief description of what happens in the mission.

Those details will allow us to locate the correct guncamera segment among the Server's records, and evaluate it for possible general-purpose re-use. The "GunCamHistory.LAC" file, stored within your hidden ~home/.LAC folder, contains most of those details in a format that you can view or edit with any simple text editor. You could satisfy our need for these details by simply sending us an appropriately edited excerpt from that file. The email address is:

We will respond by email and then we will work out a schedule for replaying it in a Realm of your choosing.

Alternatively, if you want us to replay any particular type of our existing "Server Missions" for your enjoyment (either flying solo or with friends), just send us an email describing the kind of mission you'd like the Server to activate and when you want it playing. We'll set it up to run continuously for the designated time period in one of our 32 available Realms.

As a general rule, our current library of Server Missions consists of strikes against an opposing HQ airfield. Sometimes these strikes are opposed by interceptors from the other team. We have missions with four or five heavy bombers, medium bombers, or fighter-bombers flying in formation. These Server Mission aircraft can fly for either team, and they usually target the opposite team's HQ facilities. However, sometimes a Server Mission will just launch a defensive patrol around its own HQ airfield, making it a lot harder for the opposition to attack. If you fly among any of these missions, you can escort the strike force to make its attack more effective, or you can help your own team's survival by trying to intercept an opposing strike.  If you shoot down a bomber you prevent the destruction it would otherwise inflict.

We call the aircraft that result from these replay missions "Replay Blokes". It is not unusual for five RedTeam "Replay Bloke" aircraft to fly against five BlueTeam Replay Blokes all at once. When you enter a mission like that, all ten of the lights on your cockpit's Router Panel will be flashing. In Realm "01", we almost always have a complex sequence of these Server Missions running in "Network Battle 02", in "Network Battle 03", and in "Peabody's Mission". If your own numeric MissionID conflicts with the MissionID used by one of the GunCamera replay aircraft, your ID dominates the logic and the conflicting Replay Bloke is removed from that sortie, so you can replace any pre-recorded aircraft whenever you want to. With experience, you will learn to do this by editing your ~home/.LAC/LacConfig.txt file and configuring your "MyNetworkID" value to whatever value you anticipate wanting to replace in the recorded GunCamera mission. The results are rich, rewarding, and complex. When you are flying in one of these situations, any of the Replay Bloke aircraft might be replaced by a Sentient player at any time, further contributing to the excitement and mystery of battle. (A few minutes after any Sentient player exits, the corresponding Replay Bloke aircraft resumes its pre-recorded role).

One of the most powerful features of these Gun Camera missions is that while you are flying within one, you can press "c" again to re-record your new activities within the mission, resulting in an expanded, enhanced version. When a Server Mission is replayed and re-recorded with an additional session of one or more aircraft, we call it a "Second Generation Server Mission". If it is subsequently replayed and re-recorded again with even more activity, it becomes a "Third Generation Server Mission", and etc. This is the mechanism we have been using in order to create our current library of Server Missions. As of this writing, the best of these are now massive epics with ten simultaneous Replay Blokes participating in opposed strikes. Note, however, that the sequential accumulation of multiple generations of re-recorded, replayed missions requires a very stable Internet connection while the mission is being scripted and recorded; any lost packets or jittery packet latency is preserved into all of the subsequent generations. If you attempt this with an unreliable or unstable Internet connection, the resulting Server Mission will forever be "jittery". Those network jitters tend to accumulate and compound with each subsequently recorded generation. LAC's server administrators may not accept your Replay Mission work if the packets it contains suffer from excessive random latency or are otherwise out of order.

With time, we will develop additional norms and conventions for implementation and activation of these new "Server Missions", based on GunCamera segments flown by the player community. We have already begun regular and continuous replay of our most popular GunCamera "Replay Bloke" activity in various missions of Realm 01. More and more of these Realm01 Server Missions are added on a regular basis, and the resulting online experience is becoming increasingly rich and engaging.

Gunsight pipper
Q23: My gunsight pipper changes brightness levels. Sometimes it's bright, and sometimes it's dim. Why is that?

A: Another good question. Understanding this can help you fly your aircraft at its maximum performance. The gunsight "pipper" is the stylized little "dot" that marks the exact center of your windscreen. It's there to help you aim your guns. But in addition to just marking the center of your windscreen, its brightness level reveals insights into your climb angle. Whenever your aircraft's climb angle is shallow enough to be sustained by your engine(s) under current load conditions, your gunsight pipper will be bright, as shown in the nearby illustration. On the other hand, whenever your climb angle is too steep to be sustained indefinitely, the brightness level goes dim. The transition is easy to see. If you are still climbing when your pipper goes dim, it's due to simple upward momentum, and eventually, unless you drop your aircraft's nose enough to regain that bright pipper setting, your airspeed will fall down until your upward momentum dissipates, and you will stall. Accordingly, whenever you want to climb at the maximum sustainable level, adjust your climb angle at the steepest possible rate that keeps your gunsight pipper on that bright setting.

Q24: Can I use Mumble's well-known "Overlay" with LAC?

A: Yes. However, experience with this Mumble "Overlay" reveals that it slows LAC down a bit. Typically, we see a 10% reduction in LAC's frame rate when the Mumble overlay is in use. Because LAC's "Mumble Panel" contains a highly optimized summary of the same kind of information that is available through the Mumble Overlay without that frame-rate impact, we cannot recommend using the Mumble Overlay unless your computer is powerful enough to deliver smooth frame rates.

If you want to use the Mumble Overlay, you can do so by using a specially expanded command line when launching LAC. The following command line, invoked from within the folder that contains the LAC executable program, has been used with success to do that in our development labs:

   LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib64/mumble/ ./Lac08p28

That command consists of two character strings. The last is "./Lac08p28", which invokes the local, current version of LAC according to well-established LINUX norms. The first string consists of two parts separated by an equals sign.

To the left of the equals sign is the statement "LD_PRELOAD". That tells LINUX to load a library before executing LAC.

To the right of the equals sign is the full path to the appropriate mumble library implementing the overlay functions. In my case that library is at "/usr/lib64/mumble/".

I was able to find that library on my system with this "find" command from a root prompt:

   find / -name libmumble* -print

Accordingly, on any modern linux system containing mumble, users should be able to su to root and issue this command:

   find / -name libmumble* -print

Within a few seconds, LINUX should display the full path to any matching library files. Look for one that looks like "" or "" or ", etc.".

Make a note of the full path to the best matching filename. In my case, that was "/usr/lib64/mumble/".

Then use that full path to complete a command like this (as illustrated above):

   LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib64/mumble/ ./Lac08p28

I also learned how to customize Mumble's overlay and I've optimized it for use with LAC. The current, best arrangment places Mumble's overlay near the upper right-hand corner of the LAC window. Every Mumble user connected to the user's current mumble channel is listed by name in a small, nearly transparent list, which makes it very easy for the pilot to know who is in the mission and using Mumble on the proper channel. When any mumble user begins to transmit within the current channel, his displayed name brightens and turns yellow, making it prominent in the Mumble overlay list.

Q25: Can I navigate LAC's menus with the keyboard instead of the mouse (my mouse responds slowly in LAC's menus)

A. Yes. This is important because, for some reason, users of modern "ATi Radeon" and "Intel Integrated Graphics" display adapters sometimes suffer from extremely slow response to mouse movement in LAC's menus. Accordingly, we added support for keyboard navigation of those menus, using whatever keyboard keys the user has configured for looking Left, Right, Forward, or Backward in LAC. By default, LAC uses the numeric keypad for view selection, where Num2 (Left Arrow) = "Look Left", Num4 (Right Arrow) = "Look Right", Num8 (Up arrow) = "Look Forward", and Num2 (Down Arrow) = "Look Back". Use those same keys to move the mouse pointer Left, Right, Up, or Down, respectively. Once the mouse pointer is thus located over one of the menu controls, you can activate or toggle that control by pressing <space> or <enter> as one might expect. Users of modern, Radeon and Intel-equipped computers have reported that this new system works MUCH better than struggling with the "mouse".

In October of 2021, we published a new LAC version, designated "Lac08p48", that improves LAC's response to the "ENTER" and "SPACEBAR" keys in this situation. Subsequent versions will always incorporate these improvements.

In July of 2022, the newest versions of LAC made further improvements by simplifying the appearance of menus during mouse motion. Most users won't notice the change, but those that previously suffered from sluggish response to mouse motion in LAC's menus will see a great improvement. This change can be enabled and disabled by editing the LacConfig.txt file. Look for the "MenuHighlighting" attribute. As prompted in the text of that file, you can restore the older, fancier menus by changing its value from "0" to "1", and vice versa.

In early 2023, a few popular versions of desktop LINUX received automatic updates that somehow rendered all of LAC's menus useless. Although the menu items are displayed properly, no amount of clicking on them or selecting highlighted menu items and pressing <ENTER> has any effect. Newer versions of LAC (since version 8.33) use a new approach to overcome this problem. Refer to FAQ #66 for further details.

Q26: Can I use the "Vocalize" command to help me navigate when RADAR is disabled?

A. Yes. The "Vocalize" command works powerfully in conjunction with your "Target Select" commands. Even when RADAR is off or disabled, LAC's automatic vocalizer will always pronounce the name of each surviving mission component as it is selected with the "TargetNextRed" or "TargetPreviousBlue" commands. For example, if you press "TargetNextRed" several times in a row and listen carefully to LAC's sounds, you can expect to hear phrases like these pronounced in English:

   "Red 1"
   "Red 3"
   "Red 5"
   "Red 7"
   "Red 9"
   "Red 29"

Following the inverse pattern, if you press "TargetPreviousBlue" several times in a row, you might hear something like:

  "Blue 28"
   "Blue 10"
   "Blue 8"
   "Blue 6"
   "Blue 4"
   "Blue 2"

Just as you might expect, the vocalizations that include the small integers "1" thru "10" refer to one of the ten aircraft that can participate in each of our online, server-based, multiplayer missions. The other vocalizations that you may hear, shown as "Blue 28" and "Red 29" above, refer to other surviving, strategic, mission resources like airfields, ships, or artillery batteries, numbered as appropriate to the mission design. Instruments visible along the left edge of your cockpit will provide additional descriptive labels to help you identify those objects as you select them. Accordingly, you can easily and sensibly select any mission component as the target of your attention, even if your RADAR display is unable to visually highlight it.

Once you have a mission component selected as described above, you can use the "Vocalize" command to hear its location relative to you, almost as if you were using a World War II-style radio to ask ground controllers for navigational assistance. With the standard keyboard layout, you do this by pressing "v". If the mission's ongoing radio chatter is sufficiently quiet, you will then hear a message like "Target 1 is at 4 O'clock, Angel's 8", or "Target 28 is at 12 O'clock, Angel's 1". The two components of those messages reveal the direction from your position to the designated target in "clock face" notation, and the target's approximate altitude in thousands of feet. For example, a message like "Target 2 is at 6 O'clock, Angel's 12" means that player "2" is directly behind you, flying with an altitude of about 12,000 feet.

With experience, you can also estimate the distance to your selected online target by examining your network Router Panel (as described in Q15 above), since nearby online aircraft send position packets much more rapidly than distant ones.

These "vocalize" facilities aren't as simple or as easy to use as modern RADAR, but experienced LAC veterans can take full advantage of them in order to navigate and intercept opponents, allies, and airbases whenever RADAR is not available, using a process that is remarkably similar to that used by pilots with radio-equipped aircraft during World War II.

Q27: Do I need to connect with a server?

A: No. Server connections are optional. Without a server connection you can still fully exploit every feature of all four of the offline tutorial missions, and you can team up with a single network opponent on the Internet and fly the "Head To Head" mission with or against him or her.  Use your favorite, simple text editor to edit the "LacConfig.txt" file that you will find in your hidden .LAC folder, as documented in our video "HowTo" movie clips, to specify the IP address of your single network opponent.

Connection with LAC's free server is only necessary if you want to fly with or against multiple simultaneous online players in any of the 10-player missions. Without an Internet connection or server access, those missions will only offer "bots" instead of online allies or opponents. (If your LacConfig.txt file references a LAC server by its domain name but your Internet setup has no access to a Domain Name Server, those 10-player missions will refuse to start. However, if our LacConfig.txt file references a LAC server with a numeric IP address like "", those 10-player missions will operate. If there is no LAC server operating at the referenced, numeric IP address, LAC will populate those 10-player missions with bots that you can use for target practice in the absence of any LAC server.)

Q28: Can I "squelch" an online player that is cluttering, abusing, or jamming the Morse Code Radio channel with unwanted text messages?

A: Yes. After switching your own keyboard into Morse Radio Mode as described in Q19 above, just tap your "Backspace" key to mute the player that is currently transmitting or that has most recently transmitted something on the Morse Code Radio. You will receive no more messages from that player while he or she is muted. (Tapping "Backspace" again or restarting the mission will unmute everybody.) You can also tap "F7" to mute/unmute all of the BlueTeam players at once, or "F8" to mute/unmute all of the RedTeam players at once, or "F9" to unmute everybody. Brief messages on your cockpit's 3-line, scrolling "SystemMessage" panel will describe the mute/unmute conditions as they are asserted.

Q29: How does LAC handle network packet loss during online missions?

A: Another great question. At one point or another, virtually everybody using the Internet suffers from packet loss (meaning that the Internet fails to deliver one or more packets). This is more common for people using WiFi than for those with hard-wired connections, but even with the best, hardwired Internet connection, some packet loss is inevitable. It's the nature of the Internet.

LAC uses  well-known "UDP" (User Datagram Protocol) technology to transport packets between players via the LAC Server. Upon receipt of any of these packets, every player knows the position, orientation, and velocity of the player that sent the packet. At that point, the image of that player immediately jumps to the position described in the packet. In a typical environment, LAC players send 5 or 10 packets per second, and they receive 5 or 10 packets per second from every other, nearby player participating in the same mission and realm with them. As a consequence of this normal, constant flow of incoming packets, everybody sees smooth motion representing the flight paths and behavior of all of the other players.

During the time intervals between receipt of packets from any participating player, LAC uses spare processing cycles on your own computer to "fly" that player's airplane, continuing in the same direction and orientation that was described in the most recently received packet. Normally these time intervals are very brief. When the next incoming UDP packet arrives, the true new position it describes is usually pretty close to the position to which your computer has already flown the corresponding airplane. As a result of this harmonious interleaving of packets documenting the actual behavior of a player and your own computer's brief estimates of that player's probable behavior, the illustrated behavior generally looks smooth and natural.

However, if your Internet connection is disrupted, you may lose several packets from one or more players. When the next incoming packet arrives and a correct position is illustrated, it will deviate from the predicted position by increasing intervals according to the number of packets that were skipped. If the disruption lasts long enough, LAC will assume that the player has disconnected from the mission, and "bot" logic will be called upon to fly the corresponding airplane, which will begin to maneuver in some manner that is deemed to be interesting and appropriate.

For example, suppose you are parked on a runway alongside several friends, just idling your engines. Then suppose something interrupts your WiFi connection and all incoming packets are lost for the next 10 seconds or so. Within about 3 seconds, LAC will assume that the other players have left the mission, and it will begin "flying" their airplanes. You will see them accelerate down the runway and take off. They may even collide with one another. Subsequently, when your WiFi connection is restored, the true position of each corresponding online player will replace whatever position LAC's bot logic has chosen. If the real players are still idling away on the runway, that's where you'll see them.

On a related subject, sometimes UDP packets arrive out of order. LAC transmits an outgoing UDP packet to the server every 100 milliseconds in our odd-numbered realms, and every 200 milliseconds in our even-numbered realms. Under all normal circumstances, when a LAC player transmits a series of packets representing his changing position, those packets traverse across the worldwide Internet through a series of Internet routers until they arrive at the LAC Server in New York City. All of these packets tend to arrive at the server, one after another, within about 50 or 100 milliseconds of their initial transmission, and in the same order. The server then re-transmits a copy of each of those packets to every other participating player. Another 50 or 100 milliseconds transpires in that process. Accordingly, each LAC player will "see" the flying activity of his peers within about 200 or 300 milliseconds of its occurance. That's quick enough to ensure an exciting and credible flying simulation even in the heat of intense combat. Even when one or two packets get "lost" on occasion, the overall effect normally remains reasonably smooth and credible.

Keep in mind, however, that the Internet pathway between a transmitting LAC player and the LAC server might require as many as a dozen sequential Internet routers, each choosing a connection path according to current traffic conditions. Then, the path between the LAC server and each receiving LAC player might require as many as a dozen more routers. If one of those Internet routers suffers from congestion on the "normal" route that it uses in support of some LAC activity, it may decide to switch to an alternate route. When that happens, the re-routed packet may need a little extra time in transit. If this happens to SOME but not ALL packets in a sequence, they may not arrive in the expected order. When this disordered sequence of packets is received by a LAC player, he may see the associated aircraft leap BACKWARD to a previous position from time to time, followed by a sudden leap FORWARD. This kind of disruption may repeat several times in response to some distant router testing different routes in response to temporary saturation of one path or another that it might find.

The consequences of this "packets sometimes out of order" problem become clear when one online LAC player tries to follow close behind another online LAC player (or a "replay bloke") in flight: If the plane you are following suddenly leaps backward and then forward, you are likely to suffer from a collision resulting in extensive damage to or destruction of your aircraft. Accordingly, when following behind another aircraft in LAC, it's best to remain off to the side a bit! (This can be especially commonplace when flying with or against replay blokes in a large replay mission. Refer to FAQ #22 for background information to understand why this is the case.)

Q30: Is it possible to fly low enough to avoid detection by RADAR?

A: Yes. In general, as soon as your altitude descends significantly below the altitude of RADAR facilities, RADAR transmissions get lost in ground clutter, and you are invisible to RADAR.

Desert HQ airstripAmong our three "classic" missions, this is especially significant in the "Desert" mission (MissionNetworkBattle02), because the desert HQ airfields are about 1700 feet above sea level. The RADAR stations located at those airfields are good at detecting aircraft that are flying higher than that, but the desert terrain is populated with numerous valleys and canyons descending well below that altitude. (Click the adjacent image to see a YouTube video introducing the new desert terrain featuring these canyon and valley features.) Accordingly, it is possible to "sneak up" on an HQ airfield in the desert terrain by flying in and among the valleys and canyons as you approach. Of course, you can't actually deploy your air-to-ground weapons against an airfield from within a lower-level valley or canyon, so you will need to plan some higher-altitude component at the end of your approach in order to use your weapons. Attack pilots often use the phrase "pop up" to describe the most common tactic: While approaching the target in a straight line along a path that has been carefully chosen to keep altitudes just low enough to avoid detection, the pilot accelerates to high speed. Then, at the last practical moment, the pilot pulls back on his control stick to climb suddenly and steeply to the desired altitude for effective use of his weapons, whereupon he shoots and then turns quickly away, diving down into the relative safety of a nearby canyon or valley.

None of this works in the island terrains because those HQ airfields are only a few feet above sea level and the oceans cover all of the lower elevations in those terrains.

Q31: How do LAC players report their map positions to one another in the online missions?

A: Positions can be reported via the "Mumble" voice radio, or via the text-based, Morse code radio.

Players that are flying near either of the two HQ airfields generally report their positions relative to those primary strategic points. It is commonplace to hear a player say "I am directly over my BlueHQ airfield", or "I am approaching RedHQ from the West, about halfway from BlueHQ". In addition to the two "HQ" airfields, there are a great many others to the North, South, East, and West. All of the airfields in the West side of the world belong to the BlueTeam, and all of the East side airfields belong to the RedTeam. The airfields that lie directly on the same East/West line with the two HQ airfields get used the most, and the usual arrangement is for each team to number their East/West-aligned airfields outward beyond their own HQ airfield, starting with "2" and continuing through "3", "4", "5",  etc. Accordingly, a BlueTeam player whose HQ airfield is too damaged to offer good refueling services might choose to land at the next airfield to the West, and would refer to that position as "Airfield Blue2", etc. Conversely, instead of flying West, a RedTeam player would fly East from his HQ airfield to land at his next field, and would refer to it as "Airfield Red2". If he continues farther East, that player would soon fly to airfields Red3, Red4, etc.

When departing from the usual East/West line of airfields by flying to the North or South, or when strategies lead players far from the usual action, it is helpful to use more powerful features available in LAC's "Map Mode" to navigate. When in flight, enter "Map Mode" by pressing the appropriate keyboard key ["m"]. Your view will be replaced by an image of the terrain directly beneath your aircraft, from a vantage point that is high enough to see the terrain for many miles in all directions. Your terrain position is displayed in the upper left-hand corner of that view, using a Cartesian coordinate system comprising two floating-point numbers that change as your aircraft moves. The first of those two numbers represents your East/West position, and the second number represents your North/South position. The center of your world, represented by position "0.0, 0.0", is about halfway between the BlueHQ and RedHQ airfields.  Your East/West position increases as you move East of that point, and it decreases (using negative numbers) as you move West. Your North/South position Increases as you move South from that point, and decreases (using negative numbers) as you move North.

The most accurate way to report your position is to transmit the two numbers representing your East/West and North/South position. (It is sufficient to round those numbers to within about 10 units.) This will allow experienced LAC players to figure out exactly where you are within the mission.

Alternatively, LAC's "Map Mode" always also displays your position, rounded to the nearest 1000 units, in what it calls "Sector" notation, with values like "Sector -4, -1".  If you send "I am in Sector -4, -1" to another player, he will know that you are between 4000 and 5000 units West and between 0 and 1000 units North of the center of the map. Since airfields are about 900 units apart, he could guess that you are 4 or 5 airfields West of BlueHQ.

Q32: Mumble sometimes loses its configuration, and I find it necessary to re-map all 26 Mumble "shortcuts" and re-run Mumble's "Wizard". Can I avoid this problem somehow?

A: Yes. This was a problem with older versions of LAC and with older versions of Mumble (especially on PcLinuxOs, which suffered from a quirky implementation of mumble). If you haven't updated your copy of LAC since September of 2019, your best option is simply to update to the latest version, since LAC now takes control of Mumble channel-changing activities with no need for any of those twenty promblematic old Mumble shortcuts. The remaining six shortcuts ("Push To Talk", "Push To Shout To Parent and Siblings", "Volume Down", "Volume Up", "Mute Microphone", and "Mute Speakers") are not lost so frequently and are much easier to configure.

HERE is a brief YouTube video clip showing exactly how we configure all six of those recommended Mumble shortcuts.

In our experience, this annoying old Mumble problem was frequent among users that liked to terminate Mumble without an orderly disconnection and "Server->exit" sequence. If you were using an old version of LAC with an old version of Mumble and got in a hurry and just killed your Mumble client by clicking on the "x" at the top right corner of its frame, you were fairly likely to suffer from this bug. The orderly, well-behaved way to shut off Mumble is to select "Server" from its prominent drop-down menu, click on "Disconnect", and then select "Server" again, followed by a single click on "Quit Mumble". Even with the newest versions of LAC and Mumble, that orderly shutdown discipline is recommended. Since adopting that shutdown process and since advancing LAC beyond V7.83, we no longer suffer from this annoying old problem.

Q33: How realistic are LAC's aircraft in flight?

A: LAC has been under development since early 2015. At first, the flight models were very primitive, and all of the aircraft tended to accelerate, climb, and turn far too well. With time, we've tuned up the flight models for greater and greater accuracy. Serious students of flight have noticed that LAC's flight models lack some detail, and we agree. LAC's flight model is imperfect, but it is reasonable and fun. A lot of the tuning was done by volunteers that made adjustments just to get everything to "feel" approximately right, and to get relative strengths and weaknesses of the various aircraft to compare reasonably well, according to anecdotal reports, without strict regard to absolute accuracy.

At the time of this writing, all of LAC's World War II aircraft perform with reasonable accuracy when flown at low to medium to medium-high altitudes. Because of its very high framerates and the fundamentally lightweight nature of most LINUX distros, LAC's flight "feel" is substantially better than almost any other sim, even though certain flight details are only approximated. Overall, LAC provides a very satisfying and convincing experience if you are willing to use a little imagination and forgive a few minor departures from realistic details.  Even at extreme speeds and altitudes, though the flight models are less accurate, competitive flight aspects of LAC's aircraft behave reasonably well when compared with one another.

LAC's aircraft have generally been tuned to within 3% or 4% of their historic maximum speeds at sea level and at their maximum performance altitudes. The same is true for their maximum sustained climb rates. Historic data on stall speeds, "zoom" climbs, and roll rates is harder to find, so those adjustments were made by comparison with other highly-regarded flight sims, like "Aces High". Further tuning was done to align the relative combat performance among the modeled aircraft, so historic aircraft that enjoyed advantages over others generally enjoy those same relative advantages in LAC. 

LAC is coded for good performance even on modest computer hardware like the Raspberry Pi. Wherever the designers had to code compromises between technical realism and smooth performance, they opted for smooth performance. Furthermore, LAC's development has been done by volunteers on a very tiny budget. Accordingly, an underlying set of sweeping generalizations is fundamental to the performance of all aircraft. For example, multi-engine aircraft sustain engine damage equally on all engines, so players never experience asymmetric thrust. Damage of all types is implemented on a scale from 0% to 100% as another sweeping generalization, and the failing components of all aircraft fail at the same damage levels, culminating in immediate explosion when it reaches 100%. As damage increases above about 50%, random failures are experienced with flaps and landing gear, but failure of IFF, WEP, and engine thrust are triggered at specific damage levels without any random influences.

Some World War II fighter pilots had to manage dangerous and powerful forces that caused their aircraft to roll opposite the direction of prop rotation. Until their aircraft built up enough airspeed to allow rudder and aileron forces to overcome this "torque roll" tendency in response to pilot input, pilots of single-engine fighters with large props sometimes suffered harrowing takeoff experiences as their aircraft wanted to roll back into the ground immediately after takeoff. Accordingly, they had to avoid slamming their throttles up to full power until building up airspeeds of 70 or 80 MPH as their takeoff run developed. Up thru January of 2022, LAC had been ignoring these torque roll forces. Since publication of version 8.54 in Feb2022, LAC's flight model has been made even more realistic by asserting torque roll forces. Pilots flying powerful, single-engine fighter aircraft need to be gentle when asserting maximum throttle when flying at low speed, exactly like real pilots during World War II. 

Prior to July of 2022, LAC's modeling of low-speed flight was quite unsophisticated. LAC's takeoffs and landings were far easier than those experienced by real WW2 pilots, because all aircraft were far too maneuverable at low speed. Since early Jul2022, this shortcoming has also been substantially overcome. Players will "feel" their aircraft controls becoming "mushy" and less responsive whenever airspeeds diminish toward stall speed.  Conversely, they will feel their controls becoming "heavy" at high speed, causing turns and loops to widen.

"Ground Handling" is very primitive. We really haven't paid much attention to the handling of aircraft on the ground. Taxiing around is not very realistic, and turning all the way around while on the runway is tedious.

You can adjust the realism of LAC's flight models. From the main menu, click "SETUP OPTIONS", -> "GAME", -> "DIFFICULTY" and then watch as the "REALISM" indicator cycles among the available levels. At the time of this writing, the most accurate flight model is asserted when the "REALISM" setting is at "4". This will assert torque rolls at low speed, more accurate onset of  compressibility and control heaviness at high speed, and low-speed control fade so your aircraft will respond to your controls differently and appropriately at different airspeeds. Machine guns and cannons are also more accurate and more destructive when the REALISM setting is at "4".

LAC's cockpit appearance, on the other hand, does NOT realistically represent the actual cockpits used during World War II. Our cockpit is completely standardized, so it looks exactly the same for all 54 of our aircraft, and the style suggests a very modern "glass cockpit" of the type used in modern aircraft. This choice makes LAC easier to learn, and contributes to the silky-smooth frame rate. Our cockpit is dominated by a large, circular RADAR display which, of course, was NOT in common use during World War II. This is a concession to the demands of game play. LAC players generally pay a lot of attention to the RADAR display, and that reliance on RADAR is probably LAC's greatest overall departure from realistic World War II flight and combat.

Q34: How are LAC's flaps best used?

A: Since the earliest days of powered flight, pilots learned that the shape of their wings could be altered in flight to "tune" them for best performance at various speeds. (The Wright Brothers called this "wing warping", and they would literally bend and stretch the wings with levers and pulleys that the pilot could stress in flight.) Aviation pioneers discovered that wide, thick wings generated more lift even when the airplane was flying slowly, allowing for safer landing and takeoff behavior. On the other hand, narrow, thin wings were easier on the engines, and could still generate enough lift to sustain flight if the airplane was flying fast enough. As the science of flight advanced, engineers learned to enhance wings with moveable panels that could be extended outward to make the wings wider, or retracted inward to make the wings narrower. Those moveable panels became known as "flaps".

Accordingly, LAC's flaps can be extended to improve flight behavior at low speed. If your aircraft begins to stall, you can usually recover control by extending (or "dropping") your flaps downward, and flaps can be especially helpful getting you over the top of a low-speed loop.

Some of LAC's airplanes are equipped with very effective, multi-level, "Fowler" flaps. With their flaps fully extended, those airplanes can fly safely, without stalling, at speeds as low as 75 MPH, allowing for easier, safer landings, take-offs, and other low-speed maneuvers, like extending a zoom climb long enough to take a quick shot at a higher-flying airplane. Other aircraft are equipped with more primitive flaps and consequently cannot fly that slowly without stalling, but extending your flaps will always improve your ability to control your airplane at low speeds. Of course, with your flaps extended, your wings are wider and thicker, placing a larger drag on your engines and diminishing your top speed. With your flaps extended, you will definitely be able to "feel" the difference in the way your airplane flies.

Although LAC's cockpit and controls always allow you to select from among four apparent levels of flap extension, many of LAC's aircraft are equipped with fewer than four actual settings. In fact, most of the early-war aircraft can only retract their flaps all the way, or extend them all the way, with no settings in between those extremes. To simulate the more basic flap behavior of these aircraft, LAC simply duplicates any flap settings that were unused in the modeled aircraft (making those extra settings redundant), so that any extension beyond the number of historic settings has no further effect.

Generally, you will want to retract your flaps all the way whenever you are flying at normal speeds or need to climb at optimal rates, and if you ever attempt to fly so fast that aerodynamic forces would damage your extended flaps or landing gear, LAC automatically retracts them for you.  In combat, high speed usually works in your favor, but some situations really benefit from temporary, low-speed tricks. Extend your flaps for a temporary benefit when the tactical situation needs help flying slowly, and then retract them at the next reasonable opportunity to regain speed. Violent, sustained combat maneuvers generally force your airplane to slow down and as your speed diminishes, you may be forced to drop your flaps in order to maintain adequate control. At certain speed and turn combinations, your flaps will be able to tighten your turns until your speed drops below the effectiveness of a certain flap setting, whereupon you may try a different setting. Experiment with this as you learn the "sweet spot" for maneuvering your favorite aircraft at various speeds. Players that learn optimal flap tactics enjoy a substantial advantage in combat!

Q35: Is LAC compatible with Mumble's "Voice Activation" instead of using its "PTT" (Push To Talk) Key?

A: Yes. Technically, LAC's operation is independent of Mumble, and you can do pretty much anything you want with any of Mumble's myriad tools and options. However, LAC's "Mumble Panel" relies on keystrokes to track what Mumble is doing, and will make assumptions about Mumble's activities whenever those keystrokes are activated (even if Mumble is not present). That's why it's so helpful to synchronize Mumble's "Push to Talk" and "Push to Shout to Parent and Sibling Channels" keyboard shortcuts with LAC's keyboard mapping.  When you activate Mumble transmissions without pressing an appropriately mapped keyboard shortcut, LAC's "Mumble Panel" is unaware and cannot illuminate the indicators it would ordinarily illuminate, and LAC cannot inform other participating players as to the identity of the transmitting player. This, of course, is of small consequence in the grand scheme of a LAC mission, but in a perfect world, everybody would use appropriately mapped "PTT" keys. (If Mumble is not installed, LAC's Mumble Panel displays "MUMBLE NOT INSTALLED" instead of "MUMBLE PANEL".)

As a matter of courtesy, it's important to configure any voice-activated communication system carefully, in order to avoid unwanted transmission of background noise. If you decide to experiment with Mumble's voice activated transmission in a LAC mission, PLEASE tune Mumble's transmission trigger sensitivity carefully to avoid blathering unwanted sounds on your Mumble channel.

It is interesting to note that both Mumble and LAC can be configured for good behavior with simultaneous use of PTT and Voice activation. In Mumble, if you have both PTT and voice activation active, your Mumble client will transmit the sound of your voice with EITHER event. This allows astute LAC players to configure voice comms to take advantage of Voice activation when they speak with a loud voice (such as in an emergency situation), and to use PTT for routine communication. This allows LAC's Mumble Panel to work optimally for all normal communication, while still facilitating voice activation (bypassing the Mumble Panel) for high-stress or emergency comms.

CLICK HERE for YouTube training on use of all of the keyboard keys associated with LAC's use of Mumble during online missions.

It's also nice to know that LAC will automatically handle Mumble channel changes for you during any of the multiplayer, server-based missions, whether you rely on Mumble's Voice Activation or on a mapped "Push To Talk" key. If you have Mumble installed on the same computer that you use for LAC, even if you decide to use Mumble's Voice Activation exclusively, you really won't need to think about Mumble very much at all; everything is handled automatically for you. So long as your voice activation levels are appropriately set, all you need to do is start talking when you want other players to hear. LAC's automated Mumble channel management will always select the most sensible channel for your general-purpose use, and you will hear every voice transmission on that channel. Usually LAC will tune you to the channel associated with your current mission and team, but if a "Promoted" player decides to lead your entire team to a different channel for some special purpose, you will be switched to that channel, along with all of your team mates.

Q36: When playing online, what's the easiest way to determine if another aircraft is a "bot", a "sentient" human player, or a "replay bloke" player?

A: As you have correctly deduced, you will find three different kinds of players online as follows:
LAC Router PanelUse your Router Panel to identify bots. Because bots don't use the network, you will NEVER see corresponding activity on your Router panel for any bot. If you EVER see a flashing light on your Router Panel, then you know for sure that the corresponding player is not a bot. (The illustration at the left provides positive evidence that player "8" is NOT a bot.)

Your RADAR display and HUD will also help you identify bots: In both cases, the red or blue colors that mark or frame bots are far less intense.

To differentiate between Sentient players and Replay Blokes, look at the "TARGET ID" indicator near the lower left corner of your cockpit instrument panel. Replay Blokes are identified with descriptive names like "REPLAY1", or "REPLAY5" within a few seconds of their appearance near you in an online mission. If a Sentient Player has followed our community norms to configure his "CommunityHandle" (like "BLAKE" or "HANK") as described near the end of FAQ #15, then he is identified on your instrument panel by that name.

Q37: Mumble is changing channels with no input from me while LAC is running. It quickly disconnects, reconnects, and then switches to a LAC-related channel. Sometimes a Mumble connection is rejected and then quickly accepted. What is up with that?

Commencing with version 7.82, LAC can command Mumble channel changing for your convenience. Prior to LAC Version 7.82, it was necessary for users to manually configure "shortcuts" within Mumble, but Mumble users struggled with them. Those that configured Mumble with 26 LAC-specific "Shortcuts" enjoyed effective, almost instantaneous power to change to any of our channels at the touch of any of ten designated keyboard keys, but configuration of those 26 Mumble shortcuts was a complex process that many users found too tedious to contemplate. To make matters worse, for some unknown reason, old versions of Mumble lost the most complex of those configuration settings all too frequently. Restoring them over and over again and again was a pain!

Since LAC Version 7.84 (published in September of 2019), LAC automates all channel-changing tasks for all standard versions of desktop Mumble published since about 2014.

The primary benefit is that this eliminates the need to create 20 of those 26 Mumble "Shortcuts" (and the remaining six are the simplest and best-behaved). Using this more powerful interface, LAC players can jump immediately into any of our 10 most popular Mumble channels at the tap of a keyboard key, without ever needing to configure the problematic old shortcuts. But there are other important benefits too: If you install Mumble on the same desktop LINUX computer that you use for LAC, then LAC can send powerful commands directly to Mumble, at appropriate times and in recognition of appropriate circumstances during a mission, to cause it to switch channels automatically for you. (As an option, you can configure LAC to disable this automated channel management. See FAQ #51.) When you commence any of our online, server-based, multiplayer missions, you will always start out on the best channel, and your team-mates will most likely be there, too! Furthermore, because LAC is in constant communication with your team-mates during an online mission, LAC players that earn sufficient respect from their peers can now take command of channel switching for their entire team, moving them, as a group, from channel to channel to enforce privacy while making secret plans, or to allow unrestricted conversations with opponents, or to recruit new players that may be lurking on our Mumble Server's Root channel. The days when LAC team-mates drifted aimlessly among LAC's myriad Mumble channels, finding fragments of their team scattered here and there (sometimes mixed among members of the opposing team), have finally become problems of the past!

If Mumble is automatically changing channels for you, then you have a recent version of LAC and a compatible version of desktop Mumble on your computer, and all of this is working as intended. Upon entry into any of our online, server-based, multiplayer missions you will automatically be placed into the appropriate channel for your Realm, Mission, and Team, along with your other team-mates. You will hear what your team-mates say on that channel and they will hear you. The opposing team will be on their own, nearby channel where they, too, can converse privately among themselves.
Sometimes we refer to these as "TeamCast" channels. This is the normal situation and you can generally think of this as the "home" channel for each mission. You can easily switch to some other channel whenever you want to, but you will probably want to return back "home" again right away.

CLICK HERE for YouTube training on all of the keyboard commands associated with LAC's use of Mumble during online missions.

For even better privacy, an appropriately authorized team leader can temporarily switch your entire team into an obscure channel, unknown to the opposition, for a brief session to make secret plans. After exactly two minutes in that private situation you'll all be switched back "home" together!

CLICK HERE for YouTube training on advanced management of Mumble channels for an entire team.

However, in order to properly take command of your use of these voice channels, LAC needs to be told whether you are using a new version of Mumble (version 1.3.0 or later), or an older one.  That's easily done. Just use your favorite simple text editor to edit LAC's main configuration file. It's found in your ~home/.LAC folder. Look for the text describing "NetworkMode" and follow the instructions you will find there. It should be set to a small integer value. By adding or subtracting "2", you can switch LAC back and forth between "old" and "new" Mumble management commands. Either way, LAC will work hard to urge Mumble to deliver essentially identical, automated management of Mumble channel changing. As it turns out, LAC knows that it must sometimes send extra "reset" commands to get older versions of Mumble to cooperate. As a consequence, if your configuration of LAC's "NetworkMode" indicates use of an older version of Mumble, you may observe brief complaints as Mumble rejects and then quickly accepts your connection requests.  (Add "4" to prevent LAC from any attempt to find or use Mumble, even if it is installed on your computer.)

Q38: I have LAC Version 7.84 or later, so I should be able to use the most advanced commands for managing Mumble channels. What are the specifics of that?

First, we recommend that you activate Mumble before you activate LAC. If Mumble is not already running, LAC will try to activate it for you, but Mumble may start up in an inconvenient (or even a completely obscured) screen location unless you have properly positioned it beforehand. Furthermore, On some LINUX platforms, LAC may end up activating two competing copies of Mumble, which will constantly fight one another for the privilege of responding to your requests! You can usually avoid these problems if you already have Mumble started, optimally positioned on your desktop, and configured before starting LAC. (If an otherwise well-behaved installation of Mumble starts mis-behaving while LAC is active, you will need to disable LAC's automated management of Mumble. See FAQ#51.)

As it turns out, starting Mumble before starting LAC is convenient and natural for most players, since the usual and customary way of starting up a LAC session with others relies on Mumble conversations in the "root" channel of our Mumble Server at Players looking for online LAC fun tend to wait there until somebody else arrives, whereupon they can converse naturally to negotiate desired mission parameters before starting LAC. Then, as soon as they start LAC, their Mumble conversations will continue in the "root" channel until they select one of the online, server-based, multiplayer missions within their selected Realm.

Upon entry into any of our online, server-based, multiplayer missions, LAC will automatically try to connect you with our Mumble Server, and switch you to the "TeamCast" channel for your selected Realm, Mission, and Team. Most of the time you will just remain there. While tuned to that channel you will hear anything transmitted by any of your team-mates who are also tuned to that channel, and you can transmit your voice to them by holding down your primary "PTT" ("Push-To-Talk") key [F1].  By holding down your properly configured "PTT2" key [F2], you can also converse with anybody tuned to your mission's opposing TeamCast channel, and you will hear them if they respond in kind by holding down their own PTT2 keys.

When the situation merits some different kind of communication, you can instantly switch to a different channel by tapping on an appropriate keyboard key. With our standard arrangement, each of the ten numeric keys along the top edge of a standard PC keyboard will instantly switch you to one of the ten most important channels in use within your Realm. Take a look at the image below.

As you can see, Mission 1 gets the first 3 numeric keys, Mission 2 gets the second 3 keys, Mission3 gets the third set of 3 number keys, and our "Root" channel can be selected by tapping "0" toward the right end of that row of ten keys. Those ten keys form the basis of all channel switching for players with older versions of LAC, and they work for you and your updated LAC too.

CLICK HERE for YouTube training on all of the keyboard commands associated with LAC's use of Mumble during online missions.

But since LAC Version 7.84, YOU have some even simpler and better options. If you tap "F10", you will instantly be changed to the TeamCast channel that's appropriate to your circumstance, regardless of your Realm, Mission, and Team. LAC makes that determination for you so you don't need to manually sort out the options among those other keys and their channels. From that TeamCast channel, you can focus your conversations on your team mates, who are all very likely to be tuned to that channel with you.
LAC standard keyboard layout
Along those same lines, if you tap "F11", you will instantly be changed to your MissionCast channel, making it easy for you to converse with everybody else, regardless of their team affiliation, that is using any of the three channels normally associated with your current Realm and Mission. HOWEVER, the "MissionCast" channel only works in Realm "00". In other realms, transmissions from the MissionCast channel are NOT automatically relayed to its team-related "Children" channels. That's not much of a problem these days, since the LAC community is small and everybody is limiting online activity to Realm "01" so we can all find one another. At the time of this writing, the other Realms are only used by developers in support of experimental work.

If LAC's automated channel-changing gives you trouble, make sure that the "NetworkMode" attribute is properly set in your LacConfig.txt file. After LAC is installed, that file can always be found in your ~home/.LAC folder.  Edit it with your favorite, simple text editor. Search for "NetworkMode" and follow the instructions that you will find there. Most players set the numeric value of "NetworkMode" to "83" according to the written instructions. If necessary, disable LAC's automated management of Mumble as described in FAQ#51. 

Q39: How can I take command of the Mumble voice radio channels in use by my entire team?

A: When everybody on your team is equipped with Mumble on their computers, one player can issue channel-changing commands for the whole group. We call these "Multiplayer Mumble Commands". This is such a powerful tool that it's necessary to prevent its abuse. Nobody can issue these powerful commands unless they are "Promoted" into team leadership. LAC uses a very simple system for Promotion: No player can promote himself, but any player can promote any other player on the same team. So you become promoted by asking some other player to promote you. If you have earned enough of their respect they will be happy to do this for you!

All of the Multiplayer Mumble Commands (including promotion) are handled through LAC's Morse Code Radio. Refer to FAQ #19 for the basics of that tool. After pressing "Caps Lock" to toggle your keyboard into Morse Code Radio mode, you can transmit strings of text that will be seen by everybody in the mission. Commencing with LAC version 7.82, every participating player constantly monitors all Morse code messages in search of any of five specially formatted sequences that activate Multiplayer Mumble Commands. They are:

1 of 5: "PPPPPPPP2" (Eight or more sequential "P" characters followed by one or more copies of the single digit "1", "2", "3", "4", "5","6","7", "8", "9", or "0", corresponding with one of the ten players in the mission.) This is the "PROMOTE" command, and it grants administrative privileges to the designated mission player. Although no player can promote himself, he can promote any other player on his team. The player remains "promoted" until he is killed or exits the mission. After being promoted in this manner, the promoted player can thereafter issue any of these other specially formatted Morse Radio messages:

2 of 5: "SSSSSSSS"(Eight or more sequential "S" characters). This is the "SECRECY" command, and for the next two minutes, it switches every member of the player's team onto an obscure, new, Mumble channel for private communication. Members of the other team are NOT switched, and it is cumbersome and time-consuming for them to ever discover which channel is being used for this secret conversation during the two-minute interval while it is in use. It is unlikely that members of the opposing team will hear conversations held in this manner (and any attempt to do so is easily discovered). After exactly two minutes, every member of the promoted player's team is automatically switched back to their appropriate "TeamCast" channel.

3 of 5: "MMMMMMMM" (Eight or more sequential "M" characters). This is the "MISSIONCAST" command, and it switches every member of the player's team onto the "MissionCast" channel for the current realm and mission so that everybody participating in the mission will be able to hear and converse with everybody else.

4 of 5: "TTTTTTTT" (Eight or more sequential "T" characters). This is the "TeamCast" command, and it switches every member of the player's team onto the "TeamCast" channel for the current realm and mission. The other team also has its own, "sibling", TeamCast channel, and those two sibling channels are isolated from one another so that voice communication in one is not heard in the other. Note, however, that opposing players can manually enter your TeamCast channel to hear you (and you can do the same to them), so this "TeamCast" option is best viewed as a means of minimizing congestion rather than a means of ensuring secrecy. Think of your "TeamCast" channel as your normal home base for routine communication, focusing on your own team.

5 of 5: "RRRRRRRR"(Eight or more sequential "R" characters). This is the "Root" command, and, for the next five minutes, it switches every member of the promoted player's team onto the "Root" channel of our Mumble server at This is handy for recruiting new players into the mission, since it is commonplace for new players to hang out in our Root channel while waiting for mission activity elsewhere. After exactly five minutes, every member of the promoted player's team is automatically switched back to their appropriate "TeamCast" channel.

When transmitting any of these Multiplayer Mumble commands, it is best to send at least 12 of the trigger characters in order to ensure that at least eight of them are received by all players.

CLICK HERE for YouTube video training on these advanced Morse Radio and Multiplayer Mumble Commands.

Q40: Sometimes the Morse Code Radio becomes congested with traffic of no interest to me, interfering with its effective use. Can I "Squelch" players that are abusing the channel or whose conversation is of no use to me?

A: Yes. Take a look at the keyboard map shown above. Four keyboard keys are used for various kinds of Morse Code Radio squelching as follows:

1 of 4: "F7" will mute all Morse Code Radio messages from all members of the BlueTeam. Toggle this on and off with successive taps.

2 of 4: "F8" will mute all Morse Code Radio messages from all members of the Red Team. Toggle this on and off with successive taps.

3 of 4: "F9" will unmute the entire Morse Code Radio system for all players.

4 of 4: "Backspace" will mute the player that sent the most recently received character on the Morse Code Radio.

CLICK HERE for a brief YouTube training clip covering basic use of the Morse Code Radio and the various "Squelch" keys.

Q41: When I explore Realms beyond "01", I can see that some of the Mumble channel options are visibly obvious in Mumble's application frame, but others are not. What's up with that:

At the time of this writing, LAC now offers ten online, multi-player, server-based missions. Each supports two teams in each of 32 Realms. This comes out to 320 combinations of Realms and missions, each of which is allocated a primary Mumble channel and two team-related subchannels, resulting in the possibility of more than 960 distinct Mumble channels! Rather than create all of those channels in advance of any need for them, we are allowing any Mumble user to create new Mumble Channels "as needed". We expect users to create new channels named according to the existing pattern. If this privilege is ever abused, we will disable it, but thus far, our users have been well-behaved and when new channels have been created, they have been named according to the prevailing pattern. When new channels are created according to that established pattern, LAC is able to find the appropriate channel as users enter any of our missions. If nobody has yet created that channel, LAC will do its best to select the nearest approximation thereof.

To disable LAC's automated management of Mumble, edit the "NetworkMode" field of your LacConfig.txt file as documented in FAQ #37 and FAQ #51.

Q42:  Sometimes when I drop a bomb directly on my target, no damage is inflicted, even though I am SURE the target was hit. Why is that?

A: This happens if your altitude is too low when your bomb is released.

Back in the earliest days of air warfare, painful experience showed that handling bombs was a very dangerous business. Accidents at airfields damaged airplanes, hangars, ammunition depots, and entire airfields. People were killed or maimed due to accidental dropping, bumping, or jarring of early bombs during storage and loading operations. Early aircraft carrier experiments proved even more dangerous, damaging or starting deadly fires on several ships. With experience, numerous safety improvements were developed, and bombs became safer to handle. LAC simulates the most popular of these techniques: World War II bombs were generally fitted with a small fan or "impeller" blade that turned in the high-speed air through which the bomb fell. Usually these impellers were attached to the front or rear of each bomb. The turning fan moved gears and levers inside the bomb that punctured internal seals and "stirred" chemicals that were required to arm the bomb. Until that process was completed, the bomb would not explode. Accordingly, it is necessary for LAC's bombs to fall through the air for least five seconds before they are armed, and any impact prior to that point will not result in any serious damage.

Q43: How can I change teams or realms?

A:  Prior to version 7.85 there was only one way to change teams or realms, but now there are two ways.

The easiest way can be found within LAC's "Mission Menu" pages.
Mission Menu.
Each of the online, multi-user, server-based missions has its own page within LAC's menu heirarchy. Beneath text that describes the details of the mission, each of those three menu pages now displays prominent, clickable controls to cycle your "TEAM" between "BLUE" and "RED" in response to a simple mouse click. Adjacent each of those controls you will see similar controls for cycling among any of LAC's 32 available "REALMS". (Distinct realms isolate separate player communities from one another. The intent is for easy separation of players that speak different languages or who otherwise would naturally have a preference for isolated operation. While LAC's worldwide community remains small, we recommend that everybody use realm "01", so we can more easily find one another.) After any change to the combination of "TEAM" and "REALM", another new, clickable area of those menus, directly beneath and labeled "UPDATE", should be clicked, whereupon LAC will attempt to synchronize Mumble's channel-changing logic with the new choices. At that point you should be able to speak with any people that are already active in the associated Team, Mission, and Realm.  The accompanying image illustrates one of those mission menu screens showing the "REALM", "TEAM", and "UPDATE" buttons as described.

The second way to change teams is to edit LAC's primary configuration file. That file is named "LacConfig.txt", and it is always located in a hidden folder, named ".LAC", which you can find within your LINUX home directory. Edit that text file with any simple text editor. Look for the attribute named "MyNetworkId". Text near that attribute will provide background on its use.

That "MyNetworkId" attribute should always contain a small integer from "0" to "10".

When LAC is first installed, "MyNetworkId" starts out as "0". In that case, LAC will choose and retain a random value for you, from "1" to "10".

Odd numbers place you on the RedTeam, and Even Numbers place you on the BlueTeam. When you join an online mission, LAC will automatically change this number for you as necessary in order to avoid conflicts with other players on your team, but it will NOT change teams for you. For example, if your first online mission places you on the BlueTeam as player "2", you tend to stay on the Blue team. Upon entering an online mission thereafter, if some other BlueTeam member is already playing as player #2, LAC will automatically try changing your "MyNetworkId" setting to "4", or "6", or "8", or "10". If other BlueTeam players are already using all of those numbers, then you will see a message indicating that the current mission is full, and you will be advised to try another mission. Alternatively, you could change to the RedTeam and try entering that same mission.

If you decide to use this second method for changing teams, exit the sim and use your favorite simple text editor to edit your ~home/.LAC/LacConfig.txt file. If the value of "MyNetworkId" contains an odd number, just change it to an even integer to switch from RedTeam to BlueTeam. On the other hand, if the value of "MyNetworkId" contains an even number, just change it to an odd number to switch from BlueTeam to RedTeam. In both cases, remember that the chosen number cannot be less than "1" and it cannot be greater than "10".

CLICK HERE for an old YouTube clip showing exactly how we edited the LacConfig.txt file, with a comprehensive review of its contents. That clip is a little out of date, but all of the principles still apply, and it includes a detailed discussion of this "MyNetworkId" attribute.

Q44: LAC's airfields are at the wrong altitudes and in odd locations, not matching the terrain. How can I get them properly relocated?

A: This happens when LAC cannot find the ~home/.LAC/DefaultHeightMap.LAC file. That file contains the default terrain elevations. When it is missing, LAC generates new terrain at random, which never matches the hard-coded locations of mission airfields.

In order to fix this problem, you need to copy that "DefaultHeightMap.LAC" file into the new, hidden folder named ".LAC", located in your home directory. When the LAC installation archive is first downloaded from an Internet web site, the "DefaultHeightMap.LAC" file is included in the distribution archive, along with the source code, Makefile, and the "" installation script. If you are handy with file copy operations, you can just copy it into place manually, but the easy way to do this is just to run the "" installation script according to long-standing UNIX/LINUX conventions.

For example, if you have downloaded version Lac08p95 of LAC into your "Downloads" folder and de-archived it in the most common manner, you should then open up a command window and enter the following commands:

$cd Downloads/Lac08p95


  [enter root password as prompted]




The first of those four command lines uses the well-known "cd" (change directory) function to enter the folder containing LAC's source code. From within that folder, the second line requests "root" authority in preparation for running LAC's installation script, which is shown in the third command. It will lead you, step by step, through the installation or re-installation of LAC, and it will copy all of the required files into the appropriate locations of your filesystem, over-writing any that already exist. Once that is complete, the "DefaultHeightMap.LAC" file will be in place and your terrain will include all of the standard geographic and water features matching the expected airfield locations. The final "exit" command discontinues your "root" authority and returns your bash shell to normal use.

If you cannot find your local copy of the DefaultHeightMap.LAC file, you can download it HERE.

Q45: Mumble is incompatible with my situation. I want some kind of interplayer communication that's more powerful than LAC's text-based "Morse Code Radio" but Mumble just isn't the right answer for me. What are my options?

A: First, you may need to prevent LAC's attempts to automatically find and invoke Mumble. The simplest and most obvious way to do this is simply to remove Mumble from your computer. However, if that isn't practical, you can force LAC to ignore Mumble by editing the "NetworkMode" field within your "LacConfig.txt" file. Text within that file will coach you in all of the necessary details. See FAQ#51 for more specific guidance.  

LAC's established community uses Mumble a lot. If you can't or don't want to use Mumble, you may feel lonely at first, while our community is small, because you'll be left out of those voice conversations and  limited to our text-based, Morse Code Radio when you want to communicate with others. However, in the future there may be groups of LAC players using "Ventrillo", "Discord", "TeamSpeak", "Zello", or one of the other powerful, popular VOIP applications. 

If you join LAC as part of a clan or community that is already using one of these alternatives, we want you and your friends to feel very welcome, and among yourselves, you will be able to continue using your chosen voice communication tools according to your established patterns. LAC even has a configurable provision to integrate TeamSpeak, Ventrillo, or Discord (or any other VOIP application) into your cockpit instruments. This can be done without any arcane "coding" steps, simply by editing the "LacConfig.txt" file as described in other FAQ entries.  19 keyboard keys can be set aside for special use in support of external programs like this, and for each of them, you can configure LAC to display a corresponding text message on your cockpit. Accordingly, if your chosen VOIP application can be customized to activate 19 (or fewer) of its most important functions in response to keyboard "hot key" shortcuts, LAC can be induced to display a description of each such intended action on your cockpit. After that, when you press one of those keyboard keys, your VOIP application should activate the corresponding function, and LAC's cockpit will advertise your own description of that function on your cockpit so you can be sure you hit the correct key! To do this, while editing that file with your favorite, simple text editor, search for "CommsMacro01". That is the first of 19 special keyword variables, and all of the others have similar names. According to the obvious pattern, the last of these is named "CommsMacro19". Within that LacConfig.txt file, those 19 keywords are introduced with comprehensive introductory text explaining their use. Read through that text carefully and then edit the text associated with those 19 variables accordingly so that each contains a brief text message, to be displayed on LAC's cockpit, whenever you press any of those 19 keys. Then customize your chosen Voice Communication software with appropriately matched "hot key" shortcuts. If you get everything matched up properly, LAC's cockpit integration will work quite well with any of the popular VOIP applications available for LINUX.  You'll be able to control your external VOIP application with those 19 keyboard shortcuts, and instead of trying to use Mumble, LAC will just display your descriptions of 19 associated actions whenever you press any of those 19 keys, letting your chosen, external VOIP application do the rest.

Q46: Sometimes ocean textures are rendered with a bizarre, vivid pattern of speckled rectangles instead of proper ocean colors and textures. Can I fix this somehow?

A: Probably. This graphic anomaly can appear in at least two different situations as follows: 

1 of 2: When using nVidia graphics, after completing a mission in the desert terrain and then switching to a different mission in one of the ocean terrains. If ocean textures go crazy in that situation, it's due to a graphic bug that we haven't been able to find yet. You can regain proper ocean texture appearance by simply exiting all the way out of the simulator and re-starting LAC. 

2 of 2: When using Radeon or Intel graphics, ocean textures may look crazy almost all the time, due to some graphic bug that we haven't been able to find yet. However, experience has shown that (in most cases) you can adjust your display resolution and detail level to make this problem go away. In particular, if you configure your graphic resolution to exactly match the optimal resolution of your display hardware, you are far less likely to experience this bug, especially if you run LAC in "full-screen" mode. Several users have been able to find a combination of display resolution and graphic detail that looks good and never suffers from this bug, even though OTHER such combinations DO have problems with water textures. Finally, as a last resort, if none of the suggestions in items "1 of 2" or "2 of 2" above solve the problem, you can simply delete the "water1.tga" texture file from LAC's "textures" sub-folder. This will cause all water textures to be rendered as plain black surfaces, which, although not nearly so nice looking as the water textures seen by other LAC players, look far less distracting and far less silly than the bizarre speckled rectangles resulting from this bug.

Q47: At the start of a mission, my aircraft didn't seem to have any engine power, even though my joystick throttle had been slammed all the way forward from the very beginning. What can I do at the start of a mission to ensure that my aircraft has full throttle and full power?

A: LAC doesn't actually see your throttle settings until they are changed. Accordingly, as soon as you start a mission, it's a good idea to "jiggle" your throttle handle a bit. Otherwise, LAC's reading of your initial throttle settings may feed only minimal fuel flow into your engines.  Any quick "jiggle" of your throttle handle will fix this.

Note: If you don't have a joystick or USB game controller with some kind of hardware joystick axis, you must use your keyboard's square brackets  keys to increase and decrease throttle power as shown in the image near the top of this page.

Q48: How do I download and install improved .3ds models?

Since Jan2021, our main web page has a prominent new link button at its top right corner, labeled "ENHANCED ART". Clicking that button will take you to the instructions you need. Here's a direct link:

The process involves replacing one or more of the .3ds model files in use by your LAC installation with different ones. We offer replacement files in three categories. One group offers models that look better because they are more detailed. Another group offers models that render faster because they are less detailed. Between those two extremes, the remaining group offers our "standard" set of .3ds files, carefully balanced and optimized to look almost as good as the detailed group and to render almost as quickly as the less detailed group. Most people will have best results with that "standard" set of files.

Q49: The aircraft flown by network peers ("Sentients" and "Replay Blokes") are jittery and jumpy sometimes. I wish the apparent motion could be made more smooth. Usually this isn't too serious, but once in awhile it gets distracting (especially when I am flying very close to some other Sentient player) and sometimes it's bad enough to interfere with my gunnery. Is there something I can do to minimize this "jitter"?

A: Yes. We've been experimenting with code that diminishes network jitter. Since early May of 2020, we've been able to cut the effect in half (more-or-less). It will help if you upgrade to the latest version of LAC. One other thing: Among our 32 realms, the odd-numbered realms (01, 03, 05, 07, etc.) exchange network packets twice as frequently as the even-numbered realms (00, 02, 04, 06). Accordingly, although the odd-numbered realms make higher demands on the server and on its Internet connection, the apparent motion of network-connected aircraft is MUCH smoother. To enjoy the smoothest online, multi-player action, we recommend use of the network missions within realm "01". In that environment, "NETWORK BATTLE 02", "NETWORK BATTLE 03", and "PEABODY'S MISSION" are especially attractive because the server almost always populates them with a powerful array of "Replay Blokes" as described in FAQ #22 and FAQ #36.

At the time of this writing, the worst network jitter is seen in "NET MISSION 2" and in "NET MISSION 3" within Realm 00. Two factors contribute to the visibly accented jitter:

Q50: Usually the background of my RADAR screen is green, but sometimes it turns bright yellow. What does that mean?

A: That is a new strategic warning tool, implemented in LAC Version 8.07 from May 2020. Extensive online experience had been dominated by quick victories resulting from unoposed heavy bombers that had managed to climb all the way up to a safe bombing altitude (beyond the reach of airfield gunners) without detection.  These missions would have been a lot more fun and a lot more interesting for both sides if they had been opposed, but LAC's old, text-based, cockpit warnings about incoming strategic bombers were being lost in the fog of war. With this new system, whenever your RADAR detects an opposing, strategic, heavy bomber that is beyond the current range of your RADAR display, the background color is changed to bright yellow instead of the normal, subtle green. If you zoom your RADAR out far enough to see the threat, the normal green background color is restored. As a consequence of this improved strategic warning tool, aircraft tasked with defending their HQ airbases will hereafter be much more aware of dangerous, incoming bombing raids in time to launch effective intercept missions.

Q51: Mumble is misbehaving when LAC is active (but Mumble works properly when LAC is not in use). How can I configure LAC to cease its attempts to manage Mumble?

A: You can disable LAC's attempts to invoke and/or manage Mumble by editing your ~home/.LAC/Laconfig.txt file with a simple text editor.

Search for "NetworkMode" and read the commentary text describing its use. As described in that text, the NetworkMode attribute is "bit-coded" according to long-established LINUX norms. We use the "4" bit to disable LAC's Mumble interface. Accordingly, you can toggle LAC's Mumble interface on and off by adding or subtracting "4".

As an example, most LAC players set the value of NetworkMode to "211". Those players can disable LAC's Mumble interface by changing the value to "215".

If you disable LAC's automated management of Mumble, you can use any of Mumble's powerful set of native channel-changing tools to switch to the same channels that your team-mates will be using. The most obvious approach is to leave Mumble's application frame visible at one of the edges of your display screen and use your mouse pointer to double-click on one of our channels before starting the corresponding LAC mission.

A more powerful approach relies on Mumble's keyboard "shortcuts", each of which permits you to reserve one of your keyboard keys to command Mumble to instantly switch to one of our channels.  Here's a YouTube video clip illustrating how to designate an arbitrary keyboard key to command Mumble to switch to a designated channel:

Mumble Keyboard shortcuts
Here is a more detailed YouTube clip showing, more specifically, how LAC players usually map these channel-changing keys:

Q52: I don't have a standard, full-size keyboard. Normally, LAC's six "zoom" keys would be neatly grouped on a full-size keyboard, but on my keyboard, they are scattered and hard to find. Is there some alternative keyboard arrangement that would work better on my Laptop or Raspberry Pi Model "400"?

A: Yes. Many users have been running LAC on laptop computers that lack a full-size keyboard. Because those keyboards often lack or scatter the organized cluster of six keys that LAC's standard arrangement uses for zooming the Field of View, the RADAR, and the Map in and out, use of these "simplified" keyboards has proven to be cumbersome. Furthermore, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced availability of their new Raspberry Pi Model 400, which is becoming very popular. Like many laptops, its keyboard layout does not include the convenient rectangular cluster of six keys that we have been using for all of LAC's "zoom" functions. We want LAC to run well on that hardware.

To compensate, all LAC versions since 8.40 (Jan2021) include an easy option to "double-map" the keyboard keys for affected functions. In addition to the prior logic that maps keys to functions according to our existing online documentation, this new option hard-codes the following additional keys and functions:

Numeric Keyboard Alternative Layout

As you can see, most of those hard-coded changes rely upon formerly unused numeric keypad keys.

We now activate all of this new logic by consulting the "64" bit of the "NetworkMode" variable as configured within the "LacConfig.txt" configuration file, according to the established pattern for other run-time configuration options. The prompting text associated with "NetworkMode" within the "LacConfig.txt" configuration file has been expanded to explain all of this. It prompts the user to use the "64 bit" of "NetworkMode" to designate use of an alternate keyboard map and guides him in the calculation of the appropriate value.

Q53: How do I configure or customize the axes and buttons of a USB-compatible "Game Controller" or joystick for use as my primary flight controller?

Console game controller mapped for use with LACConventional Joystick

A: This will require some experimentation, since USB Game Controllers and joysticks vary in the number and position of their buttons and axes, and in the way each of their components is referenced by LINUX. Refer to the above images as you consider the following instructions. Some of our users have published the results of their experimentation in our online forums, where you can see pictures of their experimental layouts alongside the associated configuration files that they used. Here's the link to that forum:

Here are some YouTube Video Clips showing how we map axes and buttons of a typical USB Console Game Controller for use as LAC's joystick and primary flight controls:

Your primary tool for this configuration is the "LacControls.txt" file that you will find in the new, hidden ~home/.LAC folder that is created for you when LAC is installed or upon its first execution. That file is divided into three main sections, each named within "Comment Lines" commencing with "pound sign" characters. The Joystick section commences like this:

# ---------------------------------------------------------------------
# Joystick section
# ---------------------------------------------------------------------
# The number of axes, buttons, and the coolie hat depends on your joystick!
# Numbers start with A=first joystick, B=second joystick...J=10th joystick
# followed by a number to identify axes, buttons, and coolie hat
# Axis: 0...MAX-1 (maybe 0=aileron 1=elevator 3=throttle 2=rudder)
# Buttons: 0...MAX-1, Coolie: 100=Right, 101=Up, 102=Left, 103=Down
 joystick_aileron = A0
 joystick_elevator = A1
 joystick_throttle = A3
 joystick_rudder = A2
 joystick_view_x = A4
 joystick_view_y = A5
 joystick_FIREPRIMARY = A0
 joystick_FIRESECONDARY = A1
 joystick_DROPFLARE = A36
 joystick_DROPCHAFF = A35
 joystick_WEAPONSELECT = A34
 joystick_ViewZoomCycler = A999
 joystick_ZoomFOVCycle = A999
 joystick_ZoomFovIn = A100
 joystick_ZoomFovOut = A102
 joystick_TargetCycle = A999

As you can see, each completed configuration statement consists of two text strings separated by an equals sign. To the left of the equals sign, each line references one of LAC's flight functions with a descriptive, English-language name.

To the right of the equal sign, each line references an axis or button of your joystick or Game Controller, using the label that it advertises to LINUX.

(Many LAC players use the Logitech Extreme 3dPro Joystick, which advertises a total of 20 such labels to LINUX, and that is why only the first 20 lines are completed with a corresponding label, and the remaining lines have nothing after the equals sign when it is configured for use. The 20 labels advertised to LINUX by that Logitech Extreme 3d Pro joystick are arranged in a manner that a reasonable person might find confusing, because the labels for its four analog axes, Labeled "A0", "A1", "A2", and "A3", are duplicated and exactly match the labels used by some of the other sixteen buttons and hat-switch positions.)

When you map the axes and buttons of your chosen USB Game Controller with your chosen set of LAC functions according to your personal preferences, you will need to know how to reference the labels that your own controller hardware advertises to LINUX. The labels that reference analog axes are nicely standardized, and you can start out by simply duplicating those shown in the listing above. You might just need to "swap" them around among the listed offerings until the resulting control layout makes good sense to you.

Unfortunately, there is no universal standard for the labels used to advertise Game Control buttons. Game Controllers (and joysticks) from different vendors might use different labels.

The best way to learn the labels that your own Game Controller advertises to LINUX is to launch LAC in a small (not full-screen) window from a bash shell in a larger window. Arrange the size of LAC and the size of the bash shell so that the shell is big and LAC is a lot smaller. Position them on your desktop so you can see both simultaneously. Then, as you fly one of LAC's missions and press Game Controller buttons, run-time diagnostic messages will scroll across your bash shell as LAC detects or generates significant events. Among those messages you will see prominent ones commencing every time you press one of your Game Controller buttons. Each of those messages will reveal the associated button label. Make a note of each, and then use them, exactly as displayed, to populate the configuration lines of your "LacControls.txt" file according to the pattern shown above.

One other important detail is configured from the bit-coded "NetworkMode" variable within LAC's main configuration file, named "LacConfig.txt". That file is located in the same hidden folder as the "LacControls.txt" file, at ~home/.LAC/LacConfig.txt. As explained in that file's commentary text introducing "NetworkMode", you can use the "32 bit" component of "NetworkMode" to specify an important detail of the hardware control you choose for control of your throttle. Conventional joysticks intended for aircraft simulations (like the Logitech Extreme 3dPro) have a dedicated axis control intended for use as your throttle. Known as "Throttle Levers", these controls can be set to represent any throttle position from "idle" to "maximum power", and they remain in the selected position after you let go of them. Real airplanes have a similar throttle control, and once a real pilot sets his throttle at an appropriate setting for a flight segment, it is commonplace for him to leave that setting unchanged for long periods of time. Game Controllers, on the other hand, generally do not have a "Throttle Lever". Any Game Controller axis lever that you choose for your throttle is likely to have a "return to center" spring that makes it impossible to leave it at your chosen setting while your hand is busy with something else.

LAC implements a workable compromise for this situation: If you set the "32 bit" component of "Network Mode", LAC will interpret your spring-loaded throttle axis differently: Your throttle setting will INCREASE while you push upward on your spring-loaded throttle lever, and it will DECREASE while you pull downward. It will REMAIN UNCHANGED when the spring pulls it to the center. Many LAC players have used this configuration option with good success. With a little practice, you'll find it works almost as well as the dedicated throttle lever of a more conventional, aircraft-oriented joystick. Although optimal configuration using all of these techniques can be tedious at first, it gets much easier with practice, and the rewards are compelling. You will be able to precisely customize LAC's response to each of the buttons and axis motions that your Game Controller or joystick can generate.

You can re-map keyboard keys to LAC functions with a very similar process. Take a look at FAQ #69 for more details about that.

Q54: How can I find an official or semi-official LINUX Repository that supports LAC for the easiest and most compatible installation on my preferred desktop LINUX distro?

A: As of this writing, only a few, semi-official, LINUX Repositories know about and support LAC. We expect more Repository installers to discover LAC in the future, but this is a dynamic situation best documented in our forums. CLICK HERE to see the latest news and discussion.

Note: If your preferred LINUX distro does not support LAC thru its official repository, you can probably use our "AppImage" instead. This method is easier than compiling LAC from source code. Learn about it from our forums HERE.

Q55: How can I learn which missions have active players without using Mumble?

A: It's true that the best way to learn who is flying where and to quickly negotiate multi-player online mission activity is to install the free, well-known "Mumble" voice comms utility. If you do that, LAC will automatically find and use it to connect you, through LAC's free Mumble server, with other players in the LAC community, where you can easily ask about mission activity.

However, new players often want to test LAC online before they install Mumble. There are now two powerful ways to do this as follows:

1 of 2: The first method is activated as you explore the mission menus from within LAC. In October of 2021, we published a new version of LAC (designated "Lac08p48"), that displays the names of active online players in enhanced mission menu pages that are seen prior to entry into each mission. Subsequent versions of LAC will always include this new functionality. Here is a picture showing one of these new, enhanced mission menus:
Active Player List shown in LAC mission menu
Note the new "ACTIVE PLAYERS" section of this menu, divided into two columns. The first column, displayed in red text, displays the CommunityHandle (online name) of each player participating in the RedTeam. The second column, displayed in blue text, displays the corresponding information for members of the BlueTeam.

2 of 2: For the second method, fire up your favorite web browser and go to THIS web page:

You can also easily find that web page from prominent links on LAC's well-known "LAC Online Docs" web page here:

Follow the instructions there to access a web page, updated about every 60 seconds, with a scrollable log listing the names and other details of all online players that have been active in any of our missions during the prior 15 minutes or so. The latest information will be found toward the bottom of the list, and you can use it to join missions in which your friends (or other live, Sentient players) have recently been active.

Q56: I want a different video resolution. Those offered in LAC's "SETUP OPTIONS" menu do not include the best resolution for my hardware.

A: You can configure any video resolution that your hardware can support by editing the "LacConfig.txt" configuration file that you will find in a new, hidden folder named ".LAC" in your home directory. Edit that file with your favorite, simple text editor. Text within that file includes comprehensive comment lines (each commencing with a "#" sign) that will guide you through the process. The video resolution options are near the top of the file. Proceed with caution. If you attempt to configure a video resolution that is not supported by your display hardware, LINUX may "hang" and it may be necessary to reboot.

Q57: When I press the "m" key to enter "Map Mode", my display is replaced with a big, dull grey rectangle revealing nothing about the map or terrain. How can I see the map and terrain?

A: This happens when your "VIEW" configuration is set too low. LAC's view of the map screen is complicated by the configured "VIEW" distance. As you may have discovered, you can tune the "VIEW" distance to any setting between 30 and 230. Higher settings allow you to see more distant objects, but the frame rate is diminished unless your computer is very powerful. Lower settings improve your frame rate by asserting thick "fog" that obscures distant objects. When that fog is thick it also prevents your seeing the ground from map mode unless you zoom in. A dull grey screen is exactly what is expected on computers that need to keep the VIEW distance below about 150. The only known way to compensate for this requires a more powerful graphics card, faster CPU, or a lighter-weight version of LINUX (like the "Raspbian" version of LINUX used on the Raspberry Pi).

One more note: When you switch into "map" mode, LAC has logic that tries to temporarily adjust the VIEW distance, but that adjustment is not made until after about 5 seconds. On a low-power computer that needs to set VIEW below 150, it is normal to see  just a grey surface for about 5 seconds, but if the automatic adjustment is successful it will get better after 5 seconds.

Q58: What happens when I shoot a "friendly" player or team-mate on my own team?

A: This is known as "fratricide" or attempted fratricide. In most of the online, server-based, multi-player missions, a punishment is always asserted for fratricide, even if it is accidental. Your "IFF" ("Identify Friend or Foe") instrumentation is immediately disabled, replacing all of the RADAR's red or blue dots and symbols with grey dots or symbols so it is much more difficult for you to determine who is on your team and who is not.

The duration of this punishment is proportional to the amount of damage you have inflicted on your team-mate or upon some friendly airfield, building, ship, or other mission facility. Once the duration of the penalty is expired, you can regain the lost functionality by pressing the "i" key of your keyboard (where "i" toggles "Identify Friend or Foe" instruments). You are not given any notification when the timer penalty expires; you are advised to press "i" periodically until you see the usual colors return to your RADAR display.

If you've accidently damaged something with one or two stray bullets, the penalty period won't last more than a few seconds.

On the other hand, if you've severely damaged or destroyed a friendly player or airfield facility, the penalty will last a lot longer. Outright mutiny will result in permanent disabling of your IFF equipment. RADAR, target vocalization, enemy HQ status reports, and friendly HQ status reports are all disabled too.

Furthermore, when you land your aircraft, airfield personnel may refuse to repair, re-arm, or refuel your aircraft, and you may be ordered to report to the brig pending court-martial!

Q59: Why do I see so many Morse Code Radio messages commencing with "CCCCCCCC" that repeat every two minutes or so during online missions?

A: Those are mission "ChronoMilestones" that players should ignore. You will only see them in the newest missions. The underlying technology of the newest online, multi-player missions uses these messages so all of the participating computers can blather at one another in order to synchronize the positions of moving objects like battleships and aircraft carriers. If you really want to understand the details associated with these messages and the signalling that they represent, please take a look at the forum that we created to help new mission developers write sophisticated new missions. That forum is named "Mission Developers" and you can find it here:

Q60: When I press the "ESC" ("ESCAPE") key in flight, my aircraft is always destroyed within about 5 seconds after my return to the mission.  Why is that?

A: This happens in our more sophisticated missions
(all of the online missions except for "Network Battle 3"). Our little player community has expressed an interest in asserting some sort of penalty in the most realistic online missions to be imposed on players that avoid tactical disadvantage in battle by pressing the "ESCAPE" key and hiding out in LAC's menus for a few moments, only to return after the immediate danger has changed.

This is a complex issue because although it's true that some players have been abusing this "ESCape to menus" mechanism, there are legitimate uses for "ESCaping" out of a mission to adjust audio volume or visual detail or to consult online documentation or to click into mumble's menu to change channels, etc.  Accordingly, upon return to flight after a visit to LAC's menus, LAC uses its best efforts to evaluate what the user actually did with the menus before asserting the penalty. If the player has used the "ESC" key but LAC can determine no clear reason or evidence that something significant and appropriate was done, then the penalty is asserted. The user's aircraft is automatically "shot down" by LAC's player management logic within a few seconds.

Q61: Since Jul2022 I have seen a new little counter in the extreme lower left corner of my cockpit, adjacent the last line of the 3-line, scrolling SystemMessage Panel. What is it for?

A: The cockpit's 3-line, scrolling, "SystemMessagePanel" has been enhanced. This display has long been programmed to discard any new message that exactly duplicates the previous message. This helps to minimize clutter, and avoids scrolling prior messages beyond the 3-line limits before they can be read. However, that logic left pilots unaware when identical events repeated over and over again. For example, a message like "YOU DAMAGED PLAYER 02" might be received 10 times in rapid succession during combat, but the pilot would only see it once. The improved version now displays a counter to the left of the lowest of the three scrolling lines (containing the most recent displayed text representing the most recent event). That counter cycles upward each time a new message would exactly duplicate the current message. Now players can see, at a glance, when a series of identical events is in process.

Q61: How can I get an external view of my own aircraft in flight?

A: Toggle LAC's view mode between normal (internal) view and external view with the key that you've mapped for that purpose ["x"]. Your view of your aircraft will immediately move from inside your cockpit to a point in space directly behind your aircraft, at a distance equal to 1.5 times your wingspan, and from that point you'll be looking directly at the center of your aircraft ahead of you. Every time you press that keyboard key, your view will alternate between that external view and the usual internal view. Upon entry into external view, you will always be looking toward your own aircraft, but you can move the location from which you experience that view to any point in a big circle around your aircraft. To circle your viewpoint to the right, hold down the "look right" key ["NUM6"]. Conversely, to circle your viewpoint to the left, hold down the "look left" key ["NUM4"]. You can elevate your viewpoint well above your aircraft by pressing the "look down" key ["NUMSLASH"], allowing you to look down at yourself. To look UP at yourself, diminish your viewpoint below your aircraft try pressing the "look up" key ["NUM5"].
External view after rotating viewpoint near front of aircraft.
External view of an aircraft after rotating the viewpoint almost all the way around toward the rear.

Q62: How realistic is LAC's gunnery and associated damage modeling?

A: LAC's bullet ballistics and the visual "tracer" trajectories do a good job modeling real physics. What you see is a pretty faithful model of the way ballistic bullets really fly in the face of gravity, air resistance, gyroscopic rotation, and kinetic energy. As you watch your bullets fly ahead of you, you'll notice that they tend to curve faithfully into the distance, more-or-less like the water squirting out of a powerful garden hose. This is as it should be.
Tracer Fire illustrates bullet trajectory.
However, LAC makes no effort to model convergence and pays no real attention to the different places where diverse aircraft mounted their guns. LAC behaves as if all guns were mounted in the same place on all aircraft.

However, because it is well known that some aircraft had their guns mounted in better positions and consequently were easier to aim, LAC gives those aircraft a slight "bonus" with increased lethality when their bullets strike targets. Even though this departs from mathematical realism, it increases overall realism somewhat due to our specialized knowledge resulting from historic records.

When LAC evaluates the likelihood of a bullet striking its target, it considers all aircraft to be shaped like a squashed, cubic shape taking up the general space of the aircraft's fuselage and wings.  Any collision of any bullet with any portion of that bounding cube is considered to have hit the associated aircraft, inflicting the damage associated with the bullet or cannon round and accumulating total damage in two queues. The first of those two queues is transmitted to the server in the next outpacket to "claim" the damage, and upon receipt of a damage claim like that, the recipient's aircraft suffers the associated damage and the pilot hears damage sound effects. The second of those queues accumulates total damage inflicted upon any mission aircraft until it is deemed to have been destroyed, whereupon the next packet claims so much damage as to compel destruction when the recipient receives it. To further increase realism, twenty percent of bullet hits, chosen at random, are deemed to have hit some vital component of the target aircraft and are rewarded with increased damage.

Q63: Does Linux Air Combat run on Valve Corporation's new "Steam Deck" portable console gaming PC?

Linux Air Combat on Steam Deck.
Yes! LAC runs very nicely on the Steam Deck, All features are fully supported, all controls are optimally mapped, frame rates are good, voice comms work nicely, and there is no need for a keyboard in flight. No need to compile from source code either, because a custom, precompiled version is available for immediate download. CLICK HERE for more details.

Q64: How do I fire rockets?

A: Some (but not all) of LAC's combat aircraft are armed with rockets. These weapons are primarily intended for air-to-ground use, and they can be very effective once you learn how to use them properly, because they can hit targets far enough ahead to allow the launching aircraft to remain beyond the range of small arms fire like the anti-aircraft guns defending hostile airfields, gun batteries, and naval ships. Furthermore, rockets are hard-hitting, since four rockets yield about the same destructive power as a 500-pound bomb!

LAC Cockpit showing selected secondary weapon
LAC Cockpit instruments. If your aircraft is equipped with bombs or rockets, the lower right-hand instrument will display the name of the weapon that is currently selected, and the number of those weapons currently available. In the situation illustrated above, ten rockets are available. If no text is visible in that cockpit position, then your aircraft does not currently have any secondary weapon (either because all have been used up, or because this aircraft is not equipped to carry rockets or bombs). Use the "Weapon Select" key [Num *] to cycle among available secondary weapon types. If your aircraft carries both bombs and rockets, the cockpit instrument will cycle between "ROCKETS" and "BOMB 500 LB.". Before attempting to fire a rocket, look for that "ROCKETS" indicator.

Rockets are best fired at ground targets while your aircraft is in a shallow dive. If you are close enough to clearly see your target with a normal field-of-view, aim your aircraft so your windscreen pipper points directly at the target and tap your "Fire Secondary Weapon" button or keyboard key "[Right Alt]". It's usually best to fire several rockets in rapid succession. At first, beginners generally have a lot of trouble hitting ground targets accurately, so firing at least 4 or 5 rockets increases the likelihood of a hit. You'll get better with practice.

HOWEVER, your rocket motor needs about one second to ignite, and about one second more to build up to full thrust. Accordingly, your rocket will fall BEHIND your aircraft and then pass you up as it approaches the target. AVOID violent maneuvers during that brief period while your rocket is behind you, or it may collide with and destroy your own aircraft! This is especially important if your aircraft is flying at extremely high speed, since in that case your rockets will drop farther behind your aircraft and need more time to safely pass you.

Q65: When I am in flight and see another nearby aircraft, how can I determine if he is friendly or hostile? I don't want to risk being guilty of fratricide by killing an ally.

An unidentified aircraft visible nearby.  Several nearby aircraft. One has been selected.
Two illustrations of nearby aircraft visible through the cockpit's windscreen. In the first image, the team affiliation of the nearby aircraft is unknown because it has not been designated as the current target. The second image shows two nearby aircraft. One of them has been designated as the current target, as indicated by the red rectangle framing his location. This identifies that aircraft as a member of the RedTeam. (Click images for a larger view).

A: You must select that nearby aircraft as your "Target", as described in FAQ #15. Once an individual aircraft (or other mission object like a ship, airfield, gun battery, or RADAR tower) is selected, extra information about that target is displayed on your cockpit panel, RADAR display, and Heads-Up Display ("HUD"). All of that information is color-coded, so it will show up in blue for members of the BlueTeam and in red for members of the RedTeam. Your own team affiliation is always displayed, alongside your online name or "CommunityHandle", in the upper left area of your cockpit panel.

There are several ways to choose among all of a mission's available targets for the one you will select for this extra attention as your current target. You are allowed to select friendly aircraft or hostile aircraft for this extra attention. One method is to press your keyboard's "T" key to cycle among all targets. Each time you press "T", the selected target is advanced to the next one. Most missions have about 29 different, available targets. If you press "T" more than 29 times, the logic will cycle back to your first target again. For other, more efficient target selection methods, be sure to read through FAQ #15.

Q66: LAC's menus do not respond to my mouse clicks. Click, CLICK, CLICK!..... Nothing!  Is there some work-around for this?

Yes. This is a new situation for the LAC community, first noticed in April or May of 2023 in response to patch/update activity of certain popular versions of desktop LINUX. We don't know what is causing it, but all versions since 9.32 include a provision for what we call "DefaultMission" mode. When configured for "DefaultMission" mode, it is possible to preconfigure every detail of LAC for automated execution without ever accessing menus.

There are three different ways to control LAC in addition to use of the problematic, internal menus. They are:

1 of 3: Edit the LacConfig.txt file to configure the options. This is documented farther down in this answer for Q66.

2 of 3: Invoke LAC through the command line, appending command-line arguments to activate any of the configurable options. This is also documented farther down in this answer for Q66.

3 of 3: Use the new "LacMenuLauncher" program from a bash shell. This is documented in FAQ #67.

Using any simple text editor, edit the "LacConfig.txt" file that is always found in a new, hidden ".LAC" folder within your home directory. As explained elsewhere in this FAQ document, users have long been able to designate their choice of Realm, Team, Aircraft, and everything else of consequence EXCEPT for their desired mission. (The text of that configuration file includes comprehensive help text to guide you through all of the required edits.)

To overcome this problem and activate a mission without depending on LAC's menus while editing LacConfig.txt, search for "DefaultMission" and read the explanatory text comments above that point. Using that information, set the numeric value of "DefaultMission" to any small integer from "0" to "32" according to your desired mission. Any value other than "0" will force LAC to immediately execute the referenced mission without ever pausing for menu input.

You can also drive all of this from the command line of a bash shell. By appending arguments to the command line invoking LAC, the user can now designate anything that can be configured within LAC through its menus.

If the user needs help understanding the command line arguments, he can issue a command like this:

   lac -help

Whereupon he sees the following text displayed:



  -aAUDIOLEVEL: Set audio level for sound effects, where AUDIOLEVEL is from 0 to 100 (percent).

  -bBACKGROUNDMUSIC: Set background music level, where BACKGROUNDMUSIC is from 0 to 100 (percent).

  -cCONFIGOPTIONS: Set bit-coded configuration options (also known as NetworkMode. Read LacConfig.txt for more details).

  -dDEBUGLEVEL: Set debug level from 0 to 5, where 0=silent, 1= min, 2=low, 3=default, 4=log network details, 5=log all.

  -eEFFECTSONOFF: Enable visual Special Effects by setting EFFECTSONOFF to 1,

   or Disable visual Special Effects with 0. (Disabling may improve framerate.)

  -fFOGDISTANCE: Designate Fog Distance, or the distance that can be seen through

   atmospheric mist or fog. Set FOGDISTANCE between 30 and 230. Higher values look

   better but lower numbers yield smoother operation and better frame rates.

  -h: Display this help screen and quit

  -lLIGHTINGDYNAMIC: Set LIGHTINGDYNAMIC to 1 to enable dynamic lighting, or

    0 to disable dynamic lighting (default = disabled).

  -m: Request Mouse control instead of joystick.

  -nMISSIONNUMBER: Set DefaultMission for automatic activation, bypassing menus,

    where MISSIONNUMBER is one of:

      None (Disable DefaultMission and use Menus)     0

      Tutorial 1 (Getting Started with the Basics)    8

      Tutorial 2 (Ground Attack Basics)              12

      Tutorial 3 (Fighter Tactics)                   10

      Tutorial 4 (Free Flight with no opposition)    31

      Network H2H: (Two Players only)                32

      Network Battle 01                              20

      Network Battle 02                              21

      Network Battle 03                              23

      Hyrum's Mission                                24

      Blake's Mission                                25

      Peabody's Mission                              26

      Net Mission 07                                 27

      Net Mission 08                                 28

      Net Mission 09                                 29

      Net Mission 10                                 30

  -pPLANENUMBER: Configure default airplane, where PLANENUMBER is one of:

    Whimsical      jet   Hawk:            201        Fiat           G55   Centauro:        202

    Messerschmidt  ME109 Bf109:           203        Curtis         P40   Warhawk:         204

    Hawker               Hurricane:       205        Nakajima       KI43  Oscar:           206

    Supermarine          Spitfire:        207        Polykarpov     I-16  Horsefly:        208

    Junkers        JU87  Stuka:           209        Mitsubishi     A6M2  Zero:            210

    Chance Vought  F4U   Corsair:         211        Grumman        F6F   Hellcat:         212

    Lockheed       P38   Lightning:       213        Republic       P47   Thunderbolt:     214

    North American P51   Mustang:         215        Boeing         B17   Flying Fortress: 216

    Focke-Wulf     FW190 Butcherbird:     217        Yakolev        YAK9:                  218

    Nakajima       N1K1  Shiden:          219        Consolidated   B24   Liberator:       220

    Bell           P39   Airacobra:       221        Mitsubishi     G4M   Betty:           222

    North American B25   Mitchell:        223        Martin         B26   Marauder:        224

    Grumman        F4F   Wildcat:         225        Lavochkin      LA5   Fantail:         226

    Lavochkin      LA7   Fin:             227        Ilyushin       IL2   Sturmovik:       228

    Machi          C.202 Folgore:         229        Avro                 Lancaster:       230

    De Haviland    DH.98 MosquitoB:       231        Hawker               Typhoon:         232

    Yakovlev       Yak1:                  233        Boeing         B29   Superfortress:   234

    Dewoitine      D.320:                 235        Curtiss        SB2C  Helldiver:       236

    Grumman        TBF   Avenger:         237        Messerschmidt  ME163 Komet:           238

    Hawker               Tempest:         239        Aichi          D3A   Val:             240

    Nakajima       B5N   Kate:            241        Douglas        SBD5  Dauntless:       242

    Messerschmidt  ME110 Zerstorer:       243        Dornier        DO17:                  244

    Heinkel        HE111:                 245        Junkers        JU88:                  246

    Nakajima       KI84  Hayate:          247        Kawasaki       KI61  Hien:            248

    Generic        Fighter:               249        Mitsubishi     A6M5  Zero:            250

    Supermarine    MK5   Spitfire:        251        North American P51B  Mustang:         252

    Republic       P47B  Thunderbolt:     253        Messerschmidt  ME109F:                254

    Lockheed       P38F  Lightning:       255

  -qQUALITY: Configure video detail quality from 0 to 4, where 0 is lowest and 4 is highest.

  -sSCREENFULL: Activate or de-active FullScreen Mode. SCREENFUL = 1 or 0 (Fullscreen or NOT Fullscreen).

    (Do not activate fullscreen unless you are confident that both X and Y resolution are compatible

    with your display and display adapter hardware.)

  -tTEAM: Configure Team, where TEAM = r or b (red or blue).

  -v: Display version string and quit

  -xHORIZONTALRESOLUTION: Set horizontal resolution. Recommended HORIZONTALRESOLUTION ranges from 640 to 1920.

  -yVERTICALRESOLUTION: Set vertical resolution. Recommended VERTICALRESOLUTION ranges from 240 to 1080.

   For help configuring joystick and keyboard, we recommend launching LAC from a bash shell

   and avoiding full-screen mode, with resolution smaller than your bash shell, so you can

   see LAC's resulting debug/log messages while running LAC at the default debug level (3).

   Status messages in your main window will then show the value of keypresses and joystick

   buttons as they are detected. Use those values as you edit the file named LacControls.txt

   which you will find in your home folder's hidden .LAC directory. Edit that file with a

   simple text editor. Retain the general format of the file while changing the numeric

   values associated with keyboard key commands or joystick button commands. This will

   allow you to associate any keyboard key or joystick button with any supported flight function.

   Here are a few sample command lines. The first just launches LAC

   as previously configured. The next two examples just change the

   player's default plane before launching LAC. The next two examples

   just change the player's team affiliation to blue or red before

   launching LAC. The next two examples force LAC to bypass all menus

   and automatically execute a designated or Default mission before

   launching LAC. The next example disables the Default mission logic

   and reactivates LAC's normal menus before launching LAC. The next

   two examples illustrate how you can change several different

   configuration options with a single command before launching LAC.

   The last example configures LAC video to 1280 x 720 fullscreen.


   lac -p213

   lac -p215

   lac -tb

   lac -tr

   lac -n23

   lac -n21

   lac -n0

   lac -n23 -p219 -tb

   lac -n25 -p214 -tr

   lac -x1280 -y720 -s1


As you can see, the help text is comprehensive, and users now enjoy great flexibility launching LAC from the command line with minimal need to use menus or to edit the LacConfig.txt configuration file in advance. This is especially useful in situations where LAC's menus are rendered useless due to unknown incompatibilties in recently upgraded desktop LINUX distros.

Q67: LAC's menus do not respond to my mouse clicks. Is there some other kind of menu I can use instead?

Yes. Versions of LAC since 9.48 can be controlled by an independent, new utility program named "LacMenuLauncher". This simple menu utility, launched from a bash shell, uses tried-and-true legacy technology to mimic LAC's menus using a textual interface.

Here is the published description of the LacMenuLauncher from our online ChangeLog:

Announcing the Linux Air Combat Menu Launcher
Version 11, Oct2023

In late Sep2023 we developed a new companion program, named "LacMenuLauncher", that will accompany Linux Air Combat hereafter. Here is a description, taken directly from its own "help" facility:

This is the Linux Air Combat Menu Launcher, written in 2023 by Robert J. Bosen,
publisher of the web site.

It is needed by Linux Air Combat users whose desktop LINUX systems are incompatible
with the menus that are built into Linux Air Combat (LAC).

It expects to find a copy of LAC (version 9.49 or later) installed according to the
usual pattern, with its executable at /usr/bin/lac.

It also expects to have regular access to the well-known firefox web browser.

This program displays simple, text-based menus that are similar to LAC's built-in
menus and which allow you to specify all of the same details to configure the way
LAC works on your hardware and to designate your choice of aircraft, realm, team,
mission, launch location, and CommunityHandle.

As you make those decisions, this program gradually builds up a command line matching
your choices, according to the command line arguments described when you invoke lac
without this menu launcher, through a bash shell, with the -help argument.

It is commonplace to make several passes through the menus, gradually building up
your command line, with one or more options to be applied when you run LAC.

As the new command line is built, it is displayed for examination. When you are
happy with it, you can use main menu item e to execute it. LAC will immediately
start up, configured according to your choices.

When you finish your LAC session, you are returned back to this LAC Menu Launcher,
which you can continue to use to manage LAC according to the manner that others use
through its built-in menus.

Note that LAC remembers your configuration. Once set up to your liking, you can re-
launch it with a command line that simply designates:   lac  

As you can see from the above description, the new "LacMenuLauncher" is a sofware utility that essentially duplicates LAC's internal menus. As a small, simple, text-based, external program relying only on foundational tools that have always been at the core of LINUX, it does not suffer from the mysterious incompatibilities that have sometimes rendered LAC's legacy menus useless.

Here is what LacMenuLauncher's main menu looks like:

Linux Air Combat Menu Launcher

Here is the command line at present:




h   EXIT

Designate your choice from a, b, c, d, e, f, g, or h:

As you can see, the functionality is similar to the familiar menus that have long been offered by Linux Air Combat. Anybody having trouble activating any of those internal menu facilities will be able to use the LacMenuLauncher instead.

You will probably need to compile this LacMenuLauncher program from source code. Fortunately this is VERY easy because there is only one source code file, named "main.c", and there are no external dependencies not found in ordinary desktop LAC distros. Accordingly, to compile and run it from a bash shell, just follow these five simple steps:

1- cd to the directory containing the source code.

2- Issue the following command:

    cc main.c

3- Verify that it produced an executable named "a.out".

4- Rename a.out to "LacMenuLauncher" with this command:

   mv a.out LacMenuLauncher

5- Execute LacMenuLauncher by typing its name, preceded by "./" according to longstanding LINUX/UNIX norms:


After a few minutes of practice, you will find that you can configure and control LAC just as well using this new LacMenuLauncher as you can configure and control LAC using its built-in menus.

Here is a new YouTube PlayList with detailed instructions on downloading, installing, and configuring the new 9.48 version of LAC with this new LacMenuLauncher, including step-by-step instructions for the way we integrated both into the menus of our modern desktop LINUX distro for easy activation. Here's the link:

Q68: How can I integrate LAC into the main menu of my desktop LINUX distro? (I don't want to use a command line to launch LAC)

A: Different versions of desktop LINUX can use different methods for modifying the main menus that they use for launching applications. Most, however, uniformly follow a few simple, general principles.

Here's a simple process that usually works well for integrating a LAC AppImage into your desktop LINUX menus. We've broken it down into 14 very simple steps. It may seem complex to see a 14-step process, but each of these steps is ridiculously simple and most of them are quite obvious:

1- Download the appropriate LAC AppImage.  For our purposes, we will assume it is named "Lac948-x86_64.AppImage".

2- Mark the AppImage as "executable". One way to do this is to enter this command into a bash shell from the same directory holding Lac948-x86_64.AppImage:

chmod +x Lac948-x86_64.AppImage

3- copy or move the AppImage into the /usr/bin filesystem. This will require "root" privileges. After this step you should always find LAC's AppImage at /usr/bin/Lac948-x86_64.AppImage.

4- Create a new shell script named "" in the user's home directory. The contents of the script should execute Lac948-x86_64.AppImage. For example this simple command line will work:


5- Mark that new "" shell script as "executable". One way to do this is to enter this command into a bash shell from the user's home directory (where the "" shell script is stored):

chmod +x

6- Test that new shell script from a bash shell by issuing this command:


Linux Air Combat should start up and run correctly.

7- Activate your distro's "Edit Applications" tool (may have a different but similar name). On many distros this is accessed by right-clicking on the menu's start icon.

8- Highlight "Games".

9- Create a new menu item. (Often this is done by right-clicking on "Games" and then selecting "New Item").

10- When prompted for the item name, enter text like "LAC AppImage"

11- Designate an appropriate icon for LAC. Your distro's "Edit Applications" tool should offer facilities to browse among many candidate icons. If you want to download LAC's official "lac.png" icon, you can find it here:

If you use that link to download LAC's official icon, store it in some handy place in your filesystem and REMEMBER where you put it so you can designate it through your distro's "Edit Applications" tool.

12- When your distro's "Edit Applicaions" tool prompts you for the associated "command", enter "bash" to reference your new "" script through the "bash" shell.

13- Save the changes you've made through your distro's "Edit Applications" tool (there will probably be a menu item or clickable icon for this).

14 Test the results. You should see "LAC AppImage" under "Games" in your desktop LINUX menus, and LAC should start up when you click there.

Thereafter you should always be able to run Linux Air Combat from your LINUX startup menu exactly as you might expect and exactly like any other LINUX application.

CLICK HERE for a YouTube PlayList showing EXACTLY how we followed a nearly identical process in Oct2023. The PlayList has 11 short video clips, and the first shows how we downloaded LAC's AppImage. Each subsequent step is shown in the other clips. Integration with LAC's menus starts in the 3rd of the 11 clips. You'll find all the information you need by the time you reach the end of the 6th clip. 

Q69: How can I change the mapping of keyboard buttons with LAC functions?

A: There are two ways to do this. They are:

1 of 2:  Within LAC's internal menus, click "SETUP OPTIONS". Then click the "GAME" tab. Then click "CONTROLS". A list of LAC's functions is displayed. Each entry in the list consists of two parts, commencing with the function name, and ending with the name of the associated keyboard key. Click on any function name. The associated line from the list is highlighted. Then tap a keyboard key to map that key to the highlighted function. You will clearly see the name of the associated keyboard key change exactly as you would expect. Continue making other changes according to this pattern until you are satisfied with all of the listed function/key mappings. Ensure that you do not assign a single key to two distinct functions.

2 of 2: Edit the "LacControls.txt" configuration file. This is always found in a hidden new folder named ".LAC" beneath your home folder. For example, if your LINUX username is "fred", you will find this file at /home/fred/.LAC/LacControls.txt. Use any simple text editor to edit that file according to longstanding LINUX/UNIX norms. The file commences with a group of "comment" lines, each commencing with a pound sign ("#"), explaining the general principles for its use. After reading those instructive comments, you will find that the remainder of the file is further divided into three separate sections, allowing you to edit keyboard mappings, joystick mappings, and mouse button mappings.

Look for this text to find the keyboard mapping section:

# ---------------------------------------------------------------------
# Keyboard section
# ---------------------------------------------------------------------

# Use ASCII-Code values for alphabetic keyboard keys. Examples:
#  8=BACKSPACE, 13=ENTER, 32=SPACE, 65=A...90=Z (NOT case sensitive)

After that text you will see a list of LAC's functions. Each entry in the list consists of two parts separated by an equal's sign. For example, here is the first entry of the list when configured according to our defaults:

 key_PRIMARY = 32

As you can see, the leftmost part of each entry describes a LAC function. In this case it refers to firing the primary weapons of your selected aircraft. The rightmost part of each entry identifies the associated keyboard key using the decimal equivalent of its ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) designation. Edit the numeric values displayed along the right side of each entry to re-map the associated LAC function for use with any desired keyboard key.

You can learn the decimal ASCII values of regular keyboard keys with an internet search for "ASCII values".

Another way to learn the ASCII values of keyboard keys is to run LAC in a small window from a large bash shell window. Each time you press a keyboard key, the large bash shell window will display the ASCII value of the keyboard key as you press it. This also works when you want to identify joystick buttons, and you can learn the details of that process from FAQ #53.