1 hour guide! Using just a controller and default controls.
Is VERY hands on, needing constant supervision though.
First you need to make sure you have the Top Gun DLC installed. This gives up the Expirmental Darkstar plane.
Then we're going to tweak a few assists.
So using the master difficultly setting at the top of the page, set all to EASY. This gives unlimited fuel and no damage, so you can crash land all you like so long as it's at the right airport and the right way up
Then under PILOTING we're going to turn off:
Assisted Controller Sensitivity
I had AI Anti-stall and Auto-trim on, but I spent a lot of time fighting the trim off the plane, so up to you if you want to experiment, you can always turn it on/off mid flight
Then load up the arrival and departure airports.
Then keep it as GPS flight plan, as we're blasting straight over the north pole.
When you load in, the AI will sort all the Tower chat, so just hold
and away you go.
Once in the air, climb to 30,000' at full speed (20° climb)
Then descend -20° until you hit Mach 1.5, this is shown bottom left on the HUD in 3rd person, or at the top of the plane on a dial in 1sr person.
Climb up at 20° until you hit Mach 3
When you hit Mach 3, turn on the fuel cell (it's a square made of 4 squares, just right if the control stick, on the dash), then flip the scramjet switch (left of the main screen, mid height).
If you're going to slow, it will just beep at you, otherwise you'll get a big surge and away you go, up to Mach 8.
I climbed up to about 100,000' and then using the arrows in the top corner of the compass rose (1st person mode), zoomed out as much as I could so you can cut the corner a bit on your GPS track.
As I said, this is hands on all the way, but with the auto trim, was pretty steady. This is because the plane has no autopilot I could find, and AI Pilot (assist pilot) doesn't like using Scramjet. So you just have to let it cruise, occasionally banking and occasionally levelling.
I found sitting about 5° banked turn would work well for turning the corner on the GPS track. Just keep lining up the straight line with the purple line, on the compass rose (bottom right if the main screen)
Eventually you'll get near to Seattle
(I accidentally turned off an engine half way over with some fiddling. Thankfully no damage was on, so after 30 seconds of wild spinning managed to restart it).
When you're less than 1000nm out, you want to start descending and slowing down. To switch back to the normal engines, you need to slow to Mach 3, and then switch off the Scramjet with the switch. This fired up the normal engine automatically, but maybe worth a save point.
After that, the landing throttle is about 28% and bring it in to land. I was on the grass between two runways when it popped, still pootling along
All the best! And questions let me know, and hopefully it should get around it crashing during the normal 8+ hour flight.