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    Falcon 4.0 today: The Campaign
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
      Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away……….it would appear that games developers started projects based on what they could achieve rather than what time and money constrained them to achieving! …..So brings our hero in this story a certain Mr Kevin Klemmick who on his first ever job found himself being given quite a challenge:  Initially I was hired as an intern and asked to design and develop a dynamic campaign. For better or worse there wasn’t a lot of direction on what that would entail – the directive was mostly to make something that would be a persistent world and generate dynamic missions instead of the pre-scripted model which was the norm.   In case you are wondering the Dynamic Campaign of Falcon 4.0 is still a gem of the modern flight sim world, so some brief quotes on what it involved to create such a thing are in order:   I was given a pretty blank check in designing the Dynamic Campaign, so I approached it as I would a strategy game. The idea being that this game would be running in the background whether or not the player flew any missions. In fact, it could be played as a strategy game from the tool I wrote to monitor it. The AI was broken into three tiers, a strategic level, operational level and tactical level. Yet another level of AI would operate in the Simulation itself to drive the vehicles or aircraft. The missions were generated as a by-product of this AI, and in fact used real world planning techniques. For example, once a priority list of targets was determined, a package would be put together to time suppression of air defence, air superiority, refuelling, AWACS, etc. All these missions would be timed out and planned much like a real-world commander would, but were generated as a response to decisions made by the campaign’s AI. While my primary goal was to make something fun to play, we were very fortunate to get a lot of advice from military sources about how things work in the real world and I tried to match that as closely as possible while keeping the game play elements that I felt were important. However, all of this had to work within a very tiny slice of the CPU, which was a huge limitation given all the AI/planning work that was going on. That was probably the biggest challenge of this system.   So, got that right.   What was the difference between this dynamic thingy and a pre-scripted model? An example of pre-scripted from the Strike Fighters series would be someone creating missions with the Mission Editor or before the Mission Editor existed, Yankee Air Pirate creating missions for players.  There are some advantages to this such as recreating historical missions or providing a story or backdrop for the player beforehand. The main disadvantage is that once you have played the mission a few times it’s basically the same thing each time. Of course, Falcon 4.0 does also have a Mission Editor (Tactical Editor) and you can create missions or training scenarios. DCS also has a Mission Editor that includes some quite advanced features for mission designers. Nostalgia and story based missions from yesteryear (Novalogic)     Campaign Mode Although it can appear to be just a set of single missions Strike Fighters does have a basic dynamic campaign. DCS campaigns on the other hand are currently a set of scripted missions, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have some very good campaigns in this sense! A Falcon campaign starts with a ticking clock on day one, and the whole thing runs on a massive scale putting the player either in a 2D map mode or joining the campaign by flying in the 3D world as part of it. Even in the 2D map mode the player can see most of the things happening (there is still a fog of war) and also gets news updates on major events. Of course, the missions you do fly will be different and often unpredictable, and that is the extra challenge! Here you can plan and influence things.........bet you didn't plan for that big purple blob.........looks like the space ship from Independence day is here!   Yes, the player can run the campaign as default and just join auto fragged missions every now and then – or they have a lot of power to create packages, flights, to frag their own missions, change package loadouts, join other squadrons etc, etc. Anyway, I won’t go any further because the scale is rather large. Note, that if you do just run a campaign without changing the initial mission types and PAK's you will be given non-stop suicide missions and so will your AI buddies! (so, change them!)   And yes BMS 4.33 comes with a full set of manuals created by other heroes telling you all you need in the Docs folder in your install (e.g. C:\BMS-433-U1\Docs\Falcon BMS Manuals)     The default campaign is Korea in which you can club Kim Jong Un's Cold War museum collection with a multitude of modern weapons like AIM-9X and HMCS. For an extra challenge select Korea Strong and prepare to eat AMRAAMSKI from the Flanker Hoards.   By 2014 the North Korean air force went through a massive modernization program which included (or perhaps involved entirely of) employment of beautiful young women (Yonhap News / Aviationist)   Of course, as mentioned in part 1 there are many other campaigns and theatres to try from the modding community for BMS 4.33. Totally new Allied Force campaigns - joy!   New additions & changes to BMS 4.33   Default loadouts Thank the maker! Any past players may have noted that when 4 x Su-30s appeared on the horizon, your escorts armed to the teeth with 2 x AIM-9Ps and a CBU-52 would be nothing more than useful missile decoys! This may have prompted some like myself to spend ages before missions tweaking loadouts of other flights! But it seems someone has finally improved things here for the better!   Ground war You can now control the ground units if you like, one benefit of this is to finish campaigns a lot quicker. And yes, this feature was in the 2005 Falcon 4.0 Allied Force.   MANPADs Less welcoming from Allied Force is the addition of MANPADs that make going below the clouds a bit of a no no unless you like jumping out of airplanes! MANPADs were there before 4.33 but were somewhat lackluster in comparison.    Reduced weapon supply You may want to try to hold onto those drop tanks a bit longer because unlimited supply may no longer be the case……………you can of course just frag those super brave tanker boys to get you that juice.   The little things Adding detail onto the campaign map to be saved to your data cartridge for use in flight is now made better just by the fact that it persists after each mission instead of having to redo it every time! Be a king of Situational Awareness with Bullseye positions, FLOT, Radar coverage, flight path SAM rings and data link tracks!   Weather with you From manual: Weather management has been drastically improved, with a dynamic weather system which changes with time as it moves across the BMS terrain. Bad weather effects have also been improved, with better visibility management and new cumulus cloud layers. If you like a challenge you can get pretty good random weather in the campaigns that will require some thought on how you do things when neither you or a targeting pod can actually see the targets! Anyone who learnt their A-G radar mode skills back in the day will still find they still come in handy. A shout out to the rain effect in Falcon which is by far my favourite in any sim so far:       Artificial Intelligence (AI) From manual: The AI is now much better at energy management, timing and fuel efficiency thanks to updated climb profiles, top of climb and top of descent management. Holding points and push points have been improved. AI now perform baseline intercepts much more effectively (be warned). This is important for BVR combat but also for tanker rendezvous. The ATO features new target selection logic and package constitution. AI ATC has been drastically improved, providing reliable management of the traffic queue. New options for autonomous approach have been created to allow human players to approach airbases without having to listen to ATC vectoring you through the pattern (useful when you are flying IFR for instance).   Note on the last paragraph, which provides a happy medium between the full talk down and the emergency landing…………the full talk down is still fantastic in pea soup weather where there is no ILS at the air base.       So, there you have it, still an addictive pleasure that will lead you into a false sense of security before kicking your A!   Well, it’s just really hard to do. Looking back on it, I think the only reason we took on what we did is because we were too inexperienced to know better. Knowing what I do now, even given my experience on Falcon, the cost to develop such an engine would be substantial. Since flight sims don’t bring in that kind of revenue companies look at it from a cost to benefit standpoint and Dynamic Campaigns score pretty low in that regard. There is also the argument that scripted missions are more interesting which has some merit. I think if I were to do it over I would do a mix of scripted/generated missions, so that the player still feels like they’re involved in the world, but there is also some variety thrown in to keep things interesting. Kevin Klemmick 2012   Disclaimer - this article may contain Star Wars quotes.    

    DCS Weekend News 8 & 15 December 2017
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
    DCS World 2.2 Now Available Version 2.2 of DCS World released! The primary features of this update are the addition of the AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL and the P-51D Mustang: Charnwood Campaign to DCS World 2. You can find the complete change log here. P-51D Mustang: Charnwood Campaign Available Created by the same team behind the Spitfire LF Mk.IX: Epsom Campaign, the Charnwood Campaign is a historically-based campaign for the P-51D Mustang over Normandy in July 1944. The Charnwood campaign reproduces P-51D missions flown in support of the allied breakout of Normandy and the eventual capture of Caen. Given the Mustang's combination of air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities (bombs and rockets), this campaign offers a wealth of mission types and challenges. Each mission is based on real missions, down to the weather, mission times, squadrons, mission tasks, and allied and axis locations. Key Features: 12 historic missions taken from detailed accounts of Operation Charnwood Detailed briefing and briefing images, including separate PDF mission files Unique kneeboard graphics for each mission Hundreds of specially recorded voice-over messages to recreate the actual callsigns and accents A wide array of missions included armed reconnaissance, rail interdiction, and ground attack Takes advantage of new AI features like Flak avoidance, authentic formations, and improve artificial intelligence for air and ground units See in the Campaign section of the DCS e-shop. DCS: AV-8B Night Attack Update Last week, we and RAZBAM released DCS: AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL with a great reception! We are all ecstatic about the overwhelming positive response! We and RAZBAM released a "hot fix" shortly after release that addressed a few pressing bugs. In the coming weeks and months, we and RAZBAM will be working hard to bring the AV-8B out of Early Access and on to Steam. DCS: AV-8B Night Attack S/VTOL Web Page Purchase from DCS E-Shop Video: DCS: AV-8B N/A VTOL - Pre-purchase Trailer Here are some of our favorite AV-8B fan videos over the past few days: DCS - Razbam AV-8B NA Harrier II DCS World - AV8B By Razbam DCS - Harrier Night Attack // NAVFLIR, AGM-122 & IR Maverick DCS World - Harrier LHD Landing DCS World - AV-8B N/A II Harrier - Early Access - Startup/Taxi/STOL/VTOL/Eject Thanks to all the Youtubers for supporting us! Mi-8MTV2: Oilfield Campaign Available on Steam The Mi-8MTV2: Oilfield Campaign is now available on Steam! This great campaign requires the DCS: Mi-8MTV2. Life in civil aviation is far removed from dangers of military conflict. Instead, it's based on strict time tables and lunch breaks. Meet a group of old friends: captain Jury Maksimovich Protasov and his Mi-8MTV2 crew. After the events of the "Spring Tension" conflict, they are again in business together. However, this time they are gainfully employed as cargo transportation contractors, serving the interests of the oil industry. Rather than combat, this campaign will test your knowledge of the Mi-8MTV2 navigation suite in order to locate oil derricks scattered over the forests. Challenge yourself as a cargo pilot and never have to worry about being shot at again! Features: Based on a real-life helicopter pilot missions 16 full-scale missions Various cargos and mission task situations Landing in a different locations and weather conditions Over 350 scripted radio messages Voice overs for helicopter startup procedures Briefing with flight chart maps Flight charts are included pilot's kneeboard English and Russian localization - voice overs and subtitles DCS World Steam Store Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team     DCS World 1.5.8 Hot Fix 2 This week we released a new update for 1.5.8 that addresses some pressing issues such as: Multiple AV-8Bs can operate form the Tarawa Multiple Tarawa-class ships can be included in a ship grouping Weapon-related crash for Combined Arms has been fixed Rearm and Refuel menu error corrected for Multiplayer You can read the complete list of changes on the DCS forum Su-33 for DCS World Released on Steam Available on the DCS World Steam Store page The Su-33 has been the backbone of Russian aircraft carrier aviation since the late 1990s and is an all-weather fighter capable of engaging both air and surface targets. Based on the powerful Su-27 "Flanker", the Su-33 is a navalized version suited for operations aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. Changes to the Su-33 include strengthened landing gear, folding wings, more powerful engines, and the very visible canards. The Su-33 is equipped with a powerful pulse doppler radar and an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) for engaging aerial targets with a wide range of radar- and infrared-guided missiles and its internal cannon. For air-to-surface attack, the Su-33 can be armed with many types of unguided bombs, rockets, and cluster munitions. Despite its large size, the Su-33 is very capable in a dogfight when combined with its integral helmet-mounted sight and off-boresight missiles. Key Features: Professional Flight Model (PFM). Virtual Reality supported. Highly accurate and detailed external model and cockpit. Wide range of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, including internal cannon. Modeling of electronic countermeasures and radar warning receiver. Realistic modeling of carrier landing approach system. Detailed and accurate simulation of the wing control surfaces that include the leading and trailing edge flaps and the differential ailerons. In addition to the conventional differential stabilizers, canard behavior has also been improved for more realistic behavior. The Flight Control System (FCS) will automatically reconfigure itself depending on the flight mode. Includes the wing-fold mechanism, reinforced landing gear struts, and the inclusion of high-gain nose wheel steering for use on crowded carrier decks. Correct physics for the arrestor wire and its' interaction with the aircraft. The engines have a "special mode" that adds up to 12,800 kg of thrust (instead of the normal 12,500 kg of thrust). This mode also includes realistic operating time restrictions. Includes a special FCS mode used when aerial refueling. When in this mode and the control stick is released, the aircraft will automatically maintain level flight. This FCS mode allows fine-control and thus making it easier to make contact with the tanker within a pitch range of plus or minus 5 degrees and of a roll angle of plus or minus 10 degrees. The Auto-Thrust Control (ATC) is used for automatic speed holding and can be fine-tuned with a set speed switch. This can be useful with landing on the carrier. Inclusion of the automatic collision avoidance system ("Uvod" mode) that allows safe nap-of-the-earth flying. Note: This is the exact same Su-33 that comes with DCS: Flaming Cliffs 3. As part of the DCS: Flaming Cliffs 3 series, the cockpit is non-mouse interactive. Happy holidays,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team  

    Falcon 4.0 today
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
          Now for a quick look at an F-16 flight combat simulator you may have heard of, in particular the only version of Falcon 4.0 currently in development. Benchmark Simulations official add on to Falcon 4.0 is called BMS 4.33 (currently upgrade 4) and to use you need to buy the original 1998 Microprose Falcon 4.0 from places such as GOG.com and then install that first. Then you install BMS 4.33 after downloading via the torrent from the BMS web site. Now if you are lucky you perhaps played the original or one of the other versions, or even the other official release Falcon 4.0 Allied Force from 2005 (that I will confirm BMS most certainly DOES NOT work with). However if you have not, you will be starting a learning and somewhat challenging journey, which is about what these types of things are all about after all. Things like the Avionics go very in depth and 4.33 brought with it a Maverick Handoff procedure with the targeting Pod that will make grown men cry – although I am not entirely sure a certain defence contractor couldn’t have made it easier if they had tried! You might also have noticed the Avionics Configurator option on the splash screen that already caters for about 40 different versions of the F-16. That’s right if you are not familiar with F-16s then erm well even a Block 50 for example has different versions with different avionics and capabilities depending on the year (upgrades) and the country it was sold to and this is impressively catered for. I will have a Block 30 with GE-132 and go faster stripes please      Although Falcon BMS does still trounce all in its path in certain aspects I am going to briefly start on one of the less impressive parts of Falcon, that being the visual environment.  Despite its 1998 origins, limitations have been progressively overcome to improve this area also. BMS 4.33 Came with many new ground and air objects as well as a new terrain set with trees by Polak.     Like Strike Fighters there are some very talented  individuals who have spent years providing professional level mods for free. I will give mention to Falcon Legend JanHas (http://www.janhas.net/) who has been around for…ever it seems. Real credit to the guy and rest be assured every rivet is polished to perfection to provide models as good as or better than anything else. His mods also come with comprehensive install documentation – and yes you do need it.   New afterburner flame most welcome    Installing mods is not as easy as Strike Fighters, there are bits you copy and paste but the models still need LodEditor to install them. Having just installed pretty much all of the JanHas mods I can tell you that despite it looking complex initially you are just pressing buttons and changing a few numbers at the end of the day so after the first few it becomes pretty easy – just time consuming having to do it manually. Why are these mods not in the baseline install making my life easier? - Well the reason is I have read that BMS have certain standards they keep to so it still runs on lower spec hardware. After a Herculean effort to get the mods installed!   Also as with Strike Fighters, Modders have created different theatre’s for Falcon 4 over the years including the middle east, Balkans and Germany (Ostsee by TomKatz) that even makes an attempt to populate the terrain with well placed 3D buildings.       So there you have it, graphical improvements have been slow because it requires good samaritans with free talent with free time, but it’s always nice to see there has been progress in that area. I have not mentioned the internal view because that is already more than good enough, especially considering most of a campaign is where I’m at anyway!            

    Il2 Terrain Update Dev Blog 182
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Hi Guys As I was reading it, i was so amazed and couldn`t believe, they are really updating it. Im really, really, really happy!!!! But enjoy it my friends!!!!

      Hello virtual pilots,   Today I have the honor to write a Dev Diary. My name is Evgeny Isaev, I'm the lead map maker. I want to tell you a bit about our work and share some good news.   The Stalingrad map was the first in our project. Time has passed and now, thanks to our lead programmer Sergey Vorsin, we have new technologies, instruments and methods that allow us to reach a new level of quality. In addition, the recent changes in the engine for almost four times visibility distance increase caused visible artifacts on maps that were most apparent on the Stalingrad map. So it was the time to re-visit and improve our first map. This wasn't planned initially, but we ought to find the time for this task.   The main issue was the repeating of terrain textures that was much less noticeable before. Even with very large textures, visible tiling is inevitable with the new far visibility distance. To solve this issue, we used our new tech that was created for mountains on the Kuban map - procedural texturing. This allowed us not only get rid of the tiling but also emphasize the map relief and make each area unique. Nature itself helped us in this task - we used the real-world satellite heightmaps. We ourselves were surprised at the end result.   We read your comments on the forums and know that some of you put up some valid points regarding the maps, for instance, that the Stalingrad area is a steppe and therefore it should have much less agricultural fields. We knew this since we always do a thorough research on the areas we recreate in the game, but this implementation was mandatory. It's pleasant that you notice smaller things. Now, the most part of the updated Stalingrad map will be a steppe, making it more true to history.   Thanks to our increased experience and new methods at our disposal we were able to achieve a much better result - the ground surface became much more vivid, its microfeatures are different on cliffs, ravines and plains, contributing to the feel of the world scale and allowing to estimate your altitude easier.   You can see some screenshots of the updated summer map below (update 3.001 will include the updated summer and autumn seasons). The old version of the map (but with the new visibility distance and sky) is shown on the left for comparison, while the updated map at the same lighting conditions is on the right.                         We hope you'll like the new version of the map and it will give you new emotions from the flight in our simulator.   The Link  https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/page-5#entry543945  

    CAP2 Development Round-up
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
      We wanted to drop you a round-up of what’s been happening with CAP2 development over the last few months.  As you can see from the summary below, update pace is gaining momentum.  This is due to continue as we bring you a run of smaller updates, focused on all aspects of aircraft AI.     We are excited about December as we finally start to bring the missions to life!   Current work is focused on all aspects of aircraft AI.  This will improve things such as: Dogfights AI aircraft mission integration (taxiing, AI flight member roles) AI airbase traffic AI aircraft weapon deployment (AA & AG) AI awareness of aircraft state (fuel, weapon state, radar, RWR) A2A refueling.   This means for example, in a training mission you might see a tanker takeoff while your flight taxis to the runway. You takeoff, form up and hit training area targets line astern, refuel and return to base. Another example, for the Mach Loop you may be in a flight of four aircraft transiting the loop where you may be lead or following the flight leader.   Live now We’ve dropped four patches over the past couple of months and the current version (v810.7) is now live across all branches (including VR). Here’s Ed’s posts from the Steam community hub  detailing what these these four patches included:   V810.4 Terrain editor - We've completed a lot of background work on the terrain editor which means we can now rapidly improve areas of interest from the base imagery and OSM data. We intend to make the editor available in the future for people to customise and share terrains, together with a mission editor. Training missions - We've used the improved editor to begin building the Yuma training missions. You may discover the newly populated target ranges. Mission planner Improvements - We've fixed some of the issues with the mission planner and it also now shows elevation as well as coast line. You will see that the map now includes most of the UK and the Yuma Map extends up to the Grand Canyon. In the future we will also extend the satellite imagery and OSM data - either through DLC or a future update. Easter Egg - Many players have now found this in the UK map, well done! Richer environment - As you can see from the screenshot below of the Harrier leaving Khasab we have added thousands more buildings and lots of additional vegetation. You may be aware (and have contributed - thank you!) that this is done by adding more OpenStreetMap data. It's been done as an aside and hasn't impacted general development. Abu Musa and Kaneohe Bay are also now more significantly built up. We've also added a host of custom objects including power lines, lighthouses, water tanks, ATC towers, rigs etc. Fuel Tanks - As you can also see from the screen above, the Harrier now has external fuel tanks, including associated fuel flow logic and displays, you’ll be able to mod them soon. Terrain Lighting - We've added lighting to roads, runways, taxiways and buildings, illuminating villages and cities which really adds to immersion. In case you missed it here’s the promo from a few weeks ago showcasing this. You will also see that we’ve improved vegetation, adding different trees and increasing their density. Cockpit illumination - As you can see from these before and after shots, the Harrier cockpit now has night illumination. It's easy to see dials/gauges around sunset. You can separately adjust the lighting intensity for self illuminated instruments and the cockpit floodlights. The full day/night cycle will come in a subsequent update. We've got a sky shader to complete which bounces a lot of rays through the atmosphere and produces great sunsets and sky throughout the 24hr cycle.   v810.5 Mostly a bug fix build, notable changes include: Controls: Control and shift on mapped control keys are now saved. Controls: OEM keys are labelled correctly. Controls: Added default mappings for keyboard, gamepad, joystick. HARM: firing crash fixed. HARM Mission: mission starts. Terrain LOD: settings bug fixed. You can select Low, Medium, High, Ultra. Flight model: fix for a drag calculation. Time Of Day controls: added to adjust current time and environment lighting.   V810.6 Added fixes for fullscreen monitor selection. When in fullscreen mode, changing the selected output monitor is immediate. Also the monitor label has an index added to distinguish between identically named monitors (generic pnp display...) While working on default controls I realised none of the controller manufacturers seem to use the correct USB usage codes for controller buttons or axes/sliders which have a specific function. There are codes defined for controls such as throttle, chaff, flaps, trim etc. It'd be great if they used them where relevant as auto mapping a controller would be pretty simple. Anyway, I'm adding default settings for common controllers which will be included in coming updates. I've also begun work on the axis response curves UI. The TOD/lighting controls are pretty cool. Give them a try, you'll probably find yourself constantly tweaking the light levels. Once the updated day/night sky shader is complete you'll be able to adjust the full 24hr cycle, plus advancing mission time will be added. The terrain LOD settings fix/update improves the appearance of distant lights popping into view and fixes an issue where extra scenery was being drawn.   v810.7 The debug keys for time shifting and cloud regeneration are available in Controls->Misc You can accelerate time from 4x to /32 (decelerating 32x was useful for testing things like gear animations) A crash on starting Hawaii free flight is fixed. You can now add your own cockpit photo. There's a directory 'Mods - Examples' in the game folder which details how to add your photo.   Should you buy CAP2 now? If you don’t yet own CAP2 obviously we’d love for you to join the crew.  We encourage you to read the store page details carefully first, particularly with reference to what features are currently enabled so that you have the correct expectation from the current build.   Reviews If you are enjoying CAP2 we would appreciate a quick Steam review as it greatly increases visibility within the store.

    DCS Weekend News 1 December 2017
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
    DCS: AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL Released! We are delighted to announce that DCS: AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL by RAZBAM was released into Early Access on 29 November. This is the second offering from RAZBAM for DCS World after their critically acclaimed DCS: M-2000C. The AV-8B continues their dedication to detailed craftsmanship with this iconic aircraft. DCS: AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL Web Page: www.av-8b.dcs-world.com Video: DCS: AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL Note: DCS: AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL uses our new, keyless protection system. This system requires periodic internet connections. About DCS: AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL: The AV-8B project was born in the early 1970's as an effort to improve the operational capabilities of the AV-8A first generation Harrier. The AV-8B made its maiden flight in November 1981 and entered service with the United States Marine Corps in January 1985. It later evolved into the AV-8B N/A (Night Attack) and AV-8B Harrier II Plus. The first flight of a modified AV-8B in the night attack configuration was on June 26th, 1987. Deliveries to the USMC began in September of 1989 to VMA-214 at Yuma, Arizona. Follow-up units based out of Yuma received their Night Attack AV-8Bs by the end of 1992. In 1984 the AV-8B N/A variant (originally known as the AV-8D) included the NAVFLIR (Navigation Forward-Looking Infrared camera, consisting of a GEC-Marconi FLIR system mounted in the nose) for night operations. Additionally, GEC Cat's Eyes night vision goggles were provided to the pilot as well as a revised cockpit with color MFDs, a wider field-of-view HUD display, a color CRT digital moving map and "heads-down" capability. The AV-8B N/A also sports four Tracor ALE-39 countermeasures dispensers along the top of the rear fuselage, in addition to two ALE-39 dispensers along the lower rear of the fuselage. The AV-8B N/A also fields an updated version of the Rolls-Royce Pegasus 11-61 (F402-RR-408) vectored-thrust turbofan engine. The subject of this study level simulation is the AV-8B N/A Bu No's 163853 and up which are the latest variant of this very capable AV-8B variant. Key Features of DCS: AV-8B N/A VTOL by RAZBAM include: Advanced Flight Model that also provides realistic performance and Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) characteristics Highly detailed external 3D model and textures with animations Highly detailed and accurate 6 DOF cockpit with high resolution textures, specular and bump mapping, and mouse-interactive controls Highly realistic modelling of the aircraft systems including electrical, fuel, hydraulics, lighting, engine and navigation that includes: Digital Engine Control System (DECS) Automatic Fuel System Air Refueling System Electrical Power System External Lighting Internal Lighting Hydraulic Power Supply System Flight Control System (FCS) Head-Up Display (HUD) Up-front Control (UFC) Option Display Unit (ODU) Multipurpose Color Displays (MPCD) VREST Computer (for jet-borne flight) Air Data Computer (ADC) Environmental Control System (ECS) On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS) Realistic weapons, sensor, and defensive systems include: Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground GAU-12 Equalizer 25 mm (0.984 in) 5-barreled Rotary cannon pod 6 under-wing pylon stations holding up to 9,200 lb (4,200 kg) of payload which include: AIM-9 Sidewinder or similar-sized infrared-guided missiles AGM-65 Maverick Air-to-Surface missiles Mark 80 series of unguided bombs (including 3 kg [6.6 lb] and 14 kg [31 lb] practice bombs) Paveway series of Laser-Guided Bombs (LGBs) Joint Direct Attack Munitions (GBU-38, GBU-32, and GBU-54) Mark 20 Cluster Bomb Units (CBUs) AN/AAQ-28V LITENING targeting pod ALQ-164 ECM Pod Several skins Detailed Operational Manual and Pocket guide Instant Action, Single, and Training Missions Detailed representation of the USS Tarawa (LHA-1), lead ship of her class. We hope you will enjoy this fabulous new product from Razbam. Here at ED we are all very impressed. A few words from our CEO, Dr. Igor Tishin Dear valued DCS World customers, Over the past several months, we have read your concerns and frustrations regarding aspects of the growth of DCS World. In particular, the length of time that it has taken to create the unified DCS World version (DCS World 2.5) and our DCS World War II developments. I'd like to talk to you about both of these to help foster a clear picture of where we were, where we are now, and where we plan to be. First of all, thank you all for your support and being with us for the past 27 years and sharing our vision of what we believe the flight simulation genre can ultimately achieve. From the very beginning, when Eagle Dynamics was established in 1991, our main priority was the creation of Highly Realistic Flight Simulators. At that time, there were just seven of us when we released our first project: Su-27 Flanker 1.0 in 1995. Over the past 27(!) years, we've come a long way from a simple computer game, to a professional-level combat environment simulator. Today, we have about 80 internal programmers, artists, managers, testers and producers. Additionally, we have 18 partners and 3rd party developers that are participating in our internal projects, as well as developing their own modules for DCS World. During all of our history, we remain loyal to our initial dream of making the most realistic combat aviation simulations. Starting from one simple, Standard Flight Model (SFM) Su-27, we took our next step in 2003 with five aircraft for Lock On: Modern Air Combat (LOMAC). Following LOMAC, we created our first Advanced Flight Model (AFM) for the Su-25T in 2005. Next came our first Professional Flight Model (PFM) with the Ka-50 Black Shark and the A-10C Warthog in 2008 and 2009. For an aircraft like the A-10C, it usually takes about three years of hard work to develop the PFM. In parallel to development of the software for these aircraft, getting the required permissions (aircraft manufactures and government) can often be a big obstacle and time-consuming process. For both the Ka-50 Black Shark and A-10C Warthog, we spent two years of great effort to get such permissions! More recently, and with great difficulties, we finally signed the necessary agreements to allow the sale of our upcoming DCS: F/A-18C Hornet. The team has been working very hard on this project and we are at the point now where we are talking much more about it with regular updates. After a long period of developing needed technologies, research, design, and legal matters, we are nearing the point in which we will be able to provide the Early Access version of the Hornet. Right behind the Hornet, we have other modern, combat fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft ready for development within the Eagle Dynamics internal studio. Our talented 3rd parties are also working hard on other great aircraft like the AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL, F-14 Tomcat, FC-17, F-4E Phantom II, Mi-24P Hind, Bo-105, and others. Naturally, all 3rd party projects are only made possible with very active technical support from Eagle Dynamics. So, be assured that we have not given up our initial dream! Modern, combat aviation is alive and well in DCS World and will continue to be. One of the biggest factors in creating a great flight simulation is the graphics engine. This is also probably the most technically complicated. During our 27 year history, we have internally developed five(!) generations of graphics engines. This is a massive effort for such a small company, whereas many other companies use “off the shelf” solutions. We have evaluated other engines (MSFS, OSG, etc.), but we always returned to the own internal solutions because only they provided the capability and quality we demand for a modern, combat aviation simulation. The biggest needs has been the ability to render an environment that looks and performs great from 1 meter to 50,000 meters. Graphics cards are developing so rapidly that many companies are not capable of keeping their technology current with new hardware. After eight years of intense work, we recently developed a very stable version of our graphics engine that is based on DX11 and Deferred Shading technology. We are also developing our engine to take advantage of the Vulcan API to further improve game performance. It's important to understand that a graphics engine is not only a Scene Renderer, but the terrain creation tool technology is equally important. This is the main reason why we could not merge DCS 1.5 Caucasus and 2.1 Terrains for such a long and regretful time. To do this, we first need to convert all the terrains, missions, training, and campaigns that were developed over many years for Caucasus map to an absolutely new terrain data structure and adjust all applied programs. We've put a massive amount of effort into this effort and it is almost complete. We plan to release DCS World 2.5 in the coming weeks! Now, let's talk a little about DCS World War II and why it does not delay our modern day combat aircraft and why it's a valuable aspect of DCS World for us and you. We cannot deliver modern, complicated aircraft faster than we and our 3rd parties are already doing, but growing a business needs more and more revenue to grow the team and make better products. We were very surprised to find that the investment vs. generated revenue has been excellent for the World War II aircraft. In fact, the P-51D Mustang has twice the cost effectiveness of the A-10C Warthog. We also realized that our World War II aircraft attract new customers that may have not otherwise been familiar with DCS World. Many DCS World War II pilots move to our jet aircraft that are within the integral DCS World. So, our World War II aircraft provide a good advertising environment for the DCS World concept as a whole. As we bring in new programmers, artists, and engineers to Eagle Dynamics, it is first necessary to place them on relatively more simple projects to get them up to speed. World War II aircraft are a great tool for this. Our new staff can use the World War II aircraft to learn our tools and sharpen their talents with DCS World development environment. They are separate from the main projects (like the F/A-18C) developers, and they are not involved with the modern aircraft development efforts. Otherwise, it would not be practical to develop the aircraft like the F/A-18C with staff split between projects. The Fighter Collection (TFC), Eagle Dynamic's principle partner, has one of the largest, private collections of World War II aircraft. TFC has been requesting World War II aircraft for DCS World for a long time and we cannot ignore our partners. TFC has been instrumental in its support for these projects. As you can see, DCS's World War II series doesn't compete with modern aircraft projects for development resources. In fact, it supports it. The same is true with the L-39 and Yak-52 projects. These two projects were also sought by government institutions, but we were also able to negotiate their release to you. I very much hope this all makes sense for you. We are reaching an important milestone of DCS World with the release of DCS World 2.5. This combined with an exciting list of new aircraft, new maps, and great new mission content, is furthering our dream from 1991. Thank you for being part of the journey with us! Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team

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