|HSD Steerpoint Symbology|
|Cockpit art courtesy of Cockpits.nl|
Each mission you fly in Falcon has a pre-defined navigational route which is loaded into your aircraft's computer before the flight. The route consists of steerpoints, which are individual waypoints you fly to in sequence. Flying directly from steerpoint to steerpoint will get you from your home base to the target area and back to your home base.
Steerpoints are displayed in several locations in the cockpit. The Horizontal Situation Display displays the position of the steerpoints relative to your aircraft, along with a line connecting them. This can be used as a graphical representation of your route. The Data Entry Display can also be used to view the steerpoints, along with other helpful information such as latitude/longitude. You can access this information on the DED by pressing 4 - STPT on your ICP.
Each steerpoint also has a time-on-station (TOS) time, which is the time you are required to be on station. You can access this information on the DED by pressing 5 - CRUS on the ICP. The DES TOS field shows the time you are supposed to be at the steerpoint, and the ETA field shows the time you will actually be at the steerpoint based on your present speed. The RQD G/S field shows the groundspeed you need to maintain in order to arrive at the steerpoint on time.
The HUD also displays information which helps you navigate to the steerpoint. The "tadpole" is a small marker which looks like a circle with a single line coming off of it. It is circled in orange in the image below. The line points to the relative bearing of the steerpoint from your present course. For example, if the steerpoint is at 3 o'clock from your present course, the line will be pointing directly right. In addition, the position of the tadpole changes relative to the flight path marker - if you need to turn right, the tadpole will be to the right of the FPM, and if you need to turn left, the tadpole will be to the left of the FPM. If you are perfectly on course, the tadpole will be displayed inside the FPM with the "tail" pointing straight up. Note that the tadpole is always displayed at the same pitch attitude as the FPM.
The airspeed caret (circled in red) is used to help you arrive at the steerpoint on time. It points to the airspeed you need to maintain in order to get to the steerpoint at your assigned TOS. If the caret is above your present speed, you will be late, and if it is below your present speed, you will be early. If it is pointing at your present speed, you will arrive exactly on time.
It is important to note that the tadpole and caret will start to fluctuate rapidly when you are very close to the steerpoint (within a mile or two). It is best to ignore these fluctuations - don't "chase the needle", just maintain the heading and airspeed that you followed to get to the steerpoint.