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    Il2 DD Update Dev Blog 191
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Hello everybody, After releasing 3.001 update and going wild with the celebration - having 5 work days in a week instead of 7  - we continue the further development.   Thankfully, 3.001 release went ok and didn't require any urgent critical hotfixes, which is strange for such fundamental changes, to be honest. Anyway, at this moment we already have around 40 changes and enhancements we plan to release in the next 3-4 weeks. Graphics, Career, AI, multiplayer and some other stuff will be addressed.   In parallel, we're developing the next big thing, Bodenplatte. The work on the map, buildings and its first planes has already started. We have a huge task in front of us, but we already got used to big plans and we know how to follow them. Soon we'll tell you about the other projects of IL-2 Great Battles series - the work is going on them as well.     Meanwhile, today we can show you the first WIP screenshots of Spitfire F/LF Mk.IXe and Bf 109 G-14 fighters from Bodenplatte aircraft list - we're working on their 3D models and FMs. We plan to start the Bodenplatte Early Access program when they are ready.     And here's some "insider's bonus" for you:     You can discuss the news in this thread

    DCS World 2.5 "Release" Version Available Now
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
        DCS World 2.5 "Release" Version Available Now The "Release" version of DCS World 2.5 is now available and can be downloaded from DCS site See the DCS World 2.5 Trailer here: World's most spectacular PLAY FOR FREE combat game! DCS World 2.5! About DCS World 2.5 Digital Combat Simulator World (DCS World) 2.5 is a free-to-play digital battlefield game. Our dream is to offer the most authentic and realistic simulation of military aircraft, tanks and ships possible. This free download includes a vast mission area of the Caucasus region and Black Sea that encompasses much of Georgia. It also includes a flyable Russian Sukhoi Su-25T ground attack aircraft and the famous WWII North American TF-51D Mustang. An additional 25 aircraft are available for purchase from our e-Shop and Steam. Key features of DCS World 2.5: The most realistic Free-to-Play digital battlefield ever. One-of-a-kind, internally developed graphics engine that looks amazing from 0 to 80,000 feet. Includes a beautiful, free, and highly detailed map of the Caucasus region that includes south western Russia and Georgia. Includes 20 fully-equipped operational airbases, millions of buildings and trees, and thousands of kilometers of usable roads and railway. Includes 156 free and fully operational weapons systems, 105 ground vehicles, 19 ships and 84 AI-controlled aircraft. Fly the TF-51 Mustang and Su-25T attack jet for free! Play all DCS World modules from one DCS World version. State-of-the-art graphics with amazing lighting, shadows, and performance. New breathtaking effects for explosions, clouds, fog, fire, and smoke. Hundreds of land, air and seaborne AI vehicles. The world is your sandbox. Create your own missions and campaigns for unlimited gameplay! Mission generator included allowing rapid mission creation. Enjoy multiplayer with friends, and even fly together in the same aircraft for multi-crew missions! Purchase and fly the most iconic airplanes and helicopters from WWII up to the modern day. Mouse interactive 6 degrees of freedom cockpits for most aircraft and the most accurate flight models, cockpit systems, sensors, targeting systems and sounds available. Purchase and fly the most authentic simulations of the A-10C Warthog, UH-1H Huey, F-86F Sabre, Spitfire, and many others now. Exciting new aircraft coming to DCS World like the F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18C Hornet, F-4E Phantom II, Mi-24P Hind, P-47D Thunderbolt, and many more! Purchase additional high-quality maps such as Normandy 1944 and the Nevada Test and Training Range. Play hundreds of missions and campaigns with new campaigns continually created. Both hardcore realistic and casual gameplay modes and options available. Virtual reality support. DCS World 2.5 Steam Launch Sale! To commemorate the launch of DCS World 2.5 to Steam, we are also running a 50% off sale on almost all DCS World modules! This will start today and last until 13 April. There are several DLCs that will be on sale for the first time. DCS World Steam Store Please note that all released modules on the DCS World e-Shop are also now available on our Steam store. DCS World Price Changes and end of 70% Off Bonus As mentioned in an earlier newsletter, prices of several DCS World modules will return to their launch prices with the release of DCS World 2.5. These price changes will also be made on Steam. DCS: A-10C Warthog: $59.99 DCS: Black Shark 2: $49.99 DCS: P-51D Mustang: $39.99 DCS: Flaming Cliffs 3: $49.99 DCS: Combined Arms: $39.99 F-15C for DCS World: $14.99 A-10A for DCS World: $14.99 Su-27 for DCS World: $14.99 Su-25 for DCS World: $14.99 Also marking exit of DCS World 2.5 from Open Beta, the 70% Off Bonus deal is now concluded. DCS: Persian Gulf Map Live Stream On April 8th at 1600 GMT we will have a second Youtube live stream of the Persian Gulf Map. For this live stream we will have a guided tour of the northern, Iranian side of the map. We will be in the Hornet again and will take questions during the stream. https://www.youtube.com/user/wagmatt We hope to see you there! Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team

    The F-4 Phantom and the Gun: Part 1
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
      Ahh that old familiar tale you say - of course, in the late 1960s the F-4 Phantom II finally had a gun installed, which meant that everything was better, magical unicorns danced around the sky and the Vietnamese MiGs would fall from the sky in droves! Okay so that didn’t quite happen….......what did?       Note - These articles are a compacted summary of a rather massive topic and will discuss the F-4 and Guns in Vietnam mostly ignoring missiles. Vietnam will be used instead of SEA. And USN includes the US Marines for simplicity.     Very different F-4s and Air Forces (USAF v USN) Firstly, with different equipment, ideas and ways of doing things the United States pretty much had different Air Forces in the US Navy (USN) and the US Air Force (USAF), so it is important to draw a big red line between them with a quick summary:   US Navy F-4 Versions in Vietnam F-4B (F4H-1) – Second F-4 version but first major production version of the F-4. F-4J - Improved F-4B Major Differences compared to the USAF Air to Air Refueling with Drogue and Basket Use of AIM-9B/D/G/H versions of Sidewinder only as Short Range Missile. Never fitted Guns, not even pods (outside of a brief trial with the GAU-4) Internal ECM equipment. Different Radars (AN/APQ-72, -59 & AWG-10 Pulse Doppler) Had no flight controls in the back seat In 1972 preferred used of AIM-9G/H Sidewinder over AIM-7E-2 Sparrow Used more flexible Loose Deuce A-A formation tactics Carrier and land based (Marines) USN F-4J refueling drogue and chute style (USN)     USAF F-4 Versions in Vietnam F-4C (F-110A) – Based on the F-4B with USAF changes. F-4D – Improved F-4C. F-4E – This is the (only) F-4 with the internal Gun. Major Differences compared to the US Navy Air to Air Refueling with Boom Used AIM-9B/E/J versions of Sidewinder Used AIM-4D Falcon for periods over the AIM-9 on F-4D/E External Podded ECM equipment Different Radars (AN/APQ-100, -109 & -120 ) Use of Gun Pods (SUU-16 & SUU-23) Had some flight controls in the back seat In 1972 preferred use of AIM-7E-2 Sparrow over AIM-9 / AIM-4 Insisted on sticking to the obsolete / useless fluid four (Welded Wing) A-A formation tactics right to the end. USAF F-4 nears the boom of a KC-135 in 1967 (USAF)   Why no gun on the F-4 to start with? On the 18th September 1947 the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) became the USAF and with the limited budget constraints after WWII, Strategic Air Command (SAC) was seen as security priority and was thus given the major funding over the Tactical Air Forces (TAF). SAC culture dominated the USAF in the early years along with its doctrine of strategic nuclear bombing with massive manned bombers. Tactical Fighters (F-100/F-101 etc) under this emphasis on SAC now had two roles: Defend against enemy bombers as interceptors. (Air Defence Command / ADC) Low level delivery of tactical Nukes. (Tactical Air Forces / TAF)  Apparently, Korea never happened because by the late 1950s bombing a target in a fighter within 750ft was more then good enough (with a Nuclear weapon) so not only conventional Air to Air training went out the window but also conventional bombing! One Air Force general noted about this period, General (Curtiss) LeMay had deliberately loaded the Air Staff with bomber guys, who were not well acquainted with things like air superiority or air-to-air combat, and who wanted to destroy enemy aircraft on their airfields. In 1957, LeMay actually tried to eliminate the TAF, but the possibility of the Army developing its tactical air support arm overrode this idea, and later that year LeMay reluctantly gave the TAF more funds to keep its mission from being turned over to the Army. Who needs fighters anyway? - the B-36 Peacemaker takes its toddler son for a walk in 1948 (USAF)   Some of this thinking was perhaps driving the US Navy with their F4 program in the 1950s. The USN had a requirement to intercept Soviet bombers attacking the fleet above 50,000ft out of the range of gun armed fighters and thus from 1956 the AIM-7 Sparrow III was to be the primary weapon with a gun as secondary. By 1957 however the gun was deleted from the design because the new AIM-9 Sidewinder was to be the secondary weapon. The USAF took on the F-4 as part of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s drive to get the services to use standard equipment with commonality. He was also interested in the conventional side of things and saw both the A-G potential as well as the A-A potential and thus the USAF received the F-4C (originally designated F-110A). (Note: yes this was potentially one of the few things McNamara did that wasn’t a complete catastrophe!) Of course, the F-4 wasn’t the only aircraft of its time without an internal gun (another reason seen given is that pilots would never have closed to gun range to take down a bomber carrying Nukes.) Some other Interceptors of the era born with no internal Gun: F-102 Delta Dagger F-106 Delta Dart (Some later got a gun under project Six Shooter from around 1969) Su-9/11 Fishpot Tu-128 Fiddler Su-15 Flagon MiG-25 Foxbat Some Interceptors that had the gun removed: Lightning Fmk3 CF-104 Starfighter (Early) A gun was later incorporated MiG-17PFU Fresco MiG-19PM Farmer MiG-21PF/PFV/PFS/PFM/FL  (PFV and PFM used by the VPAF in Vietnam along with the gun armed F-13 and MF)  F-102A Delta Dagger interceptors (USAF)     Getting a gun on the F-4E McDonnell first proposed an internal gun for the F-4 in 1961 however it wasn’t until a potential limited war in Vietnam looked likely in 1963 that this was taken more seriously by the military for Ground Attack / strafing. By 1965 combat experience determined that a gun was a requirement and it was trialed in the F-4, and thus the F-4E was born with a nose job and new APQ-120 Radar:   This shows the 22 modules (Line Replaceable Units / LRUs) required for the APQ-120 radar   Adding the gun solved all the problems yes? The original gun muzzle caused a few problems. Firstly gas ingestion into the engine inlets caused engine flameouts and secondly it made a loud whistling noise that apparently notified the enemy troops (and their Dogs presumably ) long before the F-4 got there. The muzzle had to be redesigned and the later F-4Es have a longer gun muzzle under the nose. Also not shown in the diagram above, the gun assembly and ammo drum took up a lot of space in the nose and the dish/antenna size was reduced. The Westinghouse APQ-120 was an early ‘Solid State’ radar (derived from the APQ-109) and being Solid State must have helped in reducing the obvious vibration issue when you have a massive Gatling gun sitting next to 1960s electronics! Despite this it still exceeded the reliability requirements and was similar in that regards to the F-4D radar that had no gun in the nose. Ex F-4 flyer Walt BJ stated that the APQ-120 in the F-4E had about 20-25% less range over the APQ-109 in the F-4D.   Didn’t the F-4E just wipe the floor now it had a gun? During Operation Linebacker I & II (1972/73): The USAF F-4E had 22 claims in 25 (known) engagements including 7 gun kills The USAF F-4D had 27 claims in 30 (known) engagements with no gun kills So firstly, if you add an internal gun but still don’t train anyone to use it then despite any figures nothing really changes. Secondly the missiles and radars had improved since 1965 regarding close in capability and so the Gun was starting to look very secondary by now. Considering the extra effort required for guns in skill, fuel, risk of collision, and making themselves more vulnerable, a missile would be the priority weapon regardless of the USAF training issues.   What about the gun pods? Stop gap measures meant some squads using the 20mm SUU-16 and SUU-23 Gatling gun pods on the F-4C and D respectively – however despite some success these were somewhat inaccurate and the extra drag had a noticeable effect on range. Looking happy to be here - SUU-23 Gun pod on the center line station of an F-4 (Clive Camm)   Some championed the Gun pod such as Korean war ace Col Frederik “Boots” Blesse after it became a useful strafing tool for South Vietnam sorties. USAF Col Robin Olds was a tad less enthusiastic: The gun pod wasn’t so much a speed penalty as an object of increased drag and fuel consumption. But that wasn’t my objection to the gun pod, I refused to carry it for 3 basic reasons; It took the place of five or six 750 lb bombs. Only my older and more experienced fighter pilots had ever been trained in aerial gunnery, to say nothing of air-to-air fighting. There were perhaps a dozen of them in the 8th TFW. I had no intention of giving any of my young pilots the temptation to go charging off to engage MiG-17s with a gun. They would have been eaten alive. Instead they fought MiGs the way I taught them and did so with notable success. The US Navy briefly trialed the 20mm MK4 (GAU-4) Gatling gun pod but this was determined to be useless in operation with technical difficulties and also meant the preferred configuration of center line drop tank only could not be carried. The not so successful MK4 (GAU-4) gun pod at China Lake (Dave Woolsey)   Did the Navy not want an internal or any gun? For the primary purpose of fleet air defense, ‘missiles only’ it seems was deemed adequate. When in combat over Vietnam some Navy pilots wanted it and others didn’t. The gun pod was not persevered with and even an offer of free SUU-16/23 pods from the USAF was turned down on one occasion. We can deduce that if you reshaped the F-4J nose like the F-4E then you also have to reduce the radar dish size and forfeit range which might not be the best idea regarding fleet defense. Simply plonking in the APQ-120 with less range and no useful lookdown/shootdown capability was probably not going to win USN favour. Even spending the money on a modified APG-59/AWG-10 still gets you reduced range at the end of it. The APG-59/AWG-10 in the F-4J had some good lookdown techniques (for its time) and was considered superior. However even without the gun the F-4B/J Phantom avionics suffered from heavy carrier landings: I had a USN F4J pilot in my back seat one night gunship escort mission (can't for the life of me remember why) and he marvelled at the radar pickup. I asked him why he thought it was so good when he was flying the J model. He told me after about 4 'standard' carrier landings the radar wasn't so hot anymore. (Walt BJ)     So, what did the Pilots say about Guns, Training, and Back Seat Drivers During the Vietnam conflict a Secret project (Red Baron) took place which compiled every A-A engagement fought. As part of that the aircrews were interviewed where available, giving quite a mixed view. 3 April 1965 F-4B USN front seat pilot (with 1000 hours) There is a need for a close in weapon as a backup on any mission……………….Guns would also be useful as an air-ground weapon (stopping a truck convoy, for example) 10 July 1965 USAF F-4C front seat pilot Gun not necessary; it will get people into trouble. Would like capability to fire all missiles on the F-4 with Centreline Tank on. Less minimum range for missiles instead of guns…….Because lack of ACT at time of event, did not know how to manoeuvre the F-4 as well as he could later after some experience. 6 Oct 1965 USN F-4B front seat pilot Fighter needs guns or short range missile……………..Turning and acceleration rate of MiG-17 was impressive. The MiG leader was aggressive and a good fighter pilot. 23 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot Improve the performance of the AAM and the gun will not be needed…………Training safety restrictions severely limited air-combat-tactics training prior to deployment to the combat area. 23 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot The need for a F-4 gun is overstated, although it would be of value if it could be obtained without hurting current radar and other system performance. If you are in a position to fire guns, you have made some mistake. Why after a mistake would a gun solve all problems. Also having a gun would require proficiency at firing, extra training etc. Have enough problems staying proficient in current systems. If the F-4 had guns, we would have lost a lot more, since once a gun dual starts the F-4 is at a disadvantage against the MiG. 23 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot Felt that he had very poor air-combat-tactics background. Prior background was bomber and other multi-engine. Transition to F-4 oriented toward upgrading a qualified fighter pilot rather than training a pilot with no fighter background. 25 April 1966 USAF F-4C back seat pilot Gun is not particularly desirable, if the performance of the aircraft is degraded by an external installation. Also, one might make the mistake of getting into a turning battle if a gun was available 25 April 1966 USAF F-4C back seat pilot Capability of the F-4 is being wasted by having a pilot in the back seat. The pilot is not adequately trained as a radar observer. Need a radar expert in the back seat. The pilot back seaters main goal is to be upgraded to the front seat rather than master the radar. 26 April 1966 USAF F-4C front pilot It is a fallacy to say that you can bring the F-4C home and land it solely from the back seat. You’ve got to blow the gear down and then there is no antiskid system; there is no drag chute handle; there is no fuel gauges or switches; you may be limited to using internal fuel; you can’t dump fuel or jettison tanks. A gun would be nice in an F-4C as long as it was clearly understood it was only a weapon of last resort. Soviet fighters are more capable than US aircraft inside gun range. 29 April 1966 USAF F-4C back seat pilot It was not necessary to have a pilot in the back seat of the F-4 except during night A-G missions when a pilot may more capably advise the aircraft commander. Actually, a radar officer would be more interested in the back-seat operation than a pilot would be. 29 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot It would be undesirable and possibly fatal for an F-4 to use a gun in fighting with a MiG because the MiG is built to fight with guns and the F-4 is not. 30 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot Training was not really adequate for this engagement, didn’t know what the back should do in a hassle such as this. 14 June 1966 USN front seat pilot Guns would be most useful for the ResCAP role but not particularly valuable in the air to air role.   An F-4B from VF-111 Sundowners giving it some - just because (USN)   The F-4 Phantom II Dogfighter? As we know the F-4 was not particularly the most agile fighter in theatre and turning at a slower speed was a bit of a problem. However, US fighters had seldom been the best turners in previous conflicts such as WWII (think F-6F Hellcat V Zero) ……power and speed could make up for it and were often better attributes to have. In 1966 the US Navy flew “Project Plan” flying the F-4B against a series of fighters to determine how good it was in an Air Superiority role. It concluded that contrary to what F-4 pilots thought the F-4 was the best air to air fighter in the world (including the F-8), if the F-4 stayed fast. To fly the F-4 however in BFM/ACM you needed to have training and a lot of experience (like most jets of this era). One particular characteristic of the hard-winged F-4 was “Adverse Yaw” at slower speeds where the pilot had to make the turn using rudder pedals instead of the stick. If the stick was used the chances of departing were very high – somewhat fatal in combat. Now stick a pilot in the cockpit with little training and you can see that in the heat of battle adverse yaw becomes quite serious (not just A-A but avoiding SAMs etc). Of course, pilots just simply avoided going anywhere near adverse yaw if they could however that meant they could never max perform the jet if they needed to in every situation. Adverse Yaw was all but eliminated by adding leading edge slats to the F-4E with the 556 "Rivet Haste" Mod late 1972. Too late to have any real relevance for Vietnam though.      In Part 2 we look at the very different training aspects of the USN/USAF/VPAF, the F-105 / F-8  paradox and the myth / legend of Colonel Tomb.

    IL 2 BATTLE OF KUBAN "RELEASED" !!!!!!!!!!!
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Dear Friends,

    We are proud and excited to announce that the Battle of Kuban development cycle is completed and Battle of Kuban is officially released! As Producer of the Sturmovik product series it is always a pleasure to announce major milestones to the community and this one is very special. Battle of Kuban was a technical challenge from start to finish, but the team has once again proven why they are the best. When I took over as Producer I promised you a new and improved Sturmovik experience. A Sturmovik with a more hardcore feel with more classic flight-sim features for both single-player and multiplayer modes along with other touches that remind you of past Sturmovik titles while embracing new genre-leading technology. In the past 18 months we’ve done just that and transformed this generation of Sturmovik into a real leader.

    As you will see below, the amount of work that has gone into just version 3.001 is huge, not to mention ALL of the enhancements, improvements, fixes and content that was developed for Battle of Kuban and the engine as a whole during this cycle. Every department has worked hard to make this release special. This was months and months of hard work by an extremely talented and dedicated team who spent very long hours trying to make the vision I announced in fall 2016 a reality. If you are a fan of Sturmovik, either old or new, they deserve your continued support. Please tell your flight-sim friends about how much Sturmovik has improved with the Kuban release. Together, the Sturmovik line-up will continue to grow and thrive as our big announcement about Bodenplatte, Flying Circus and Tank Crews this past November shows. We have big plans, but we need your support to make them happen. We have no magic safety net. Your support allows us to expand our team and spend time clearing development bottlenecks or solving long stubborn issues.

    As with any major release, many compromises in scheduling and work-flow had to occur. Some features not in our original plan were added (new distant terrain rendering, new shadows, improved flight-models) and some were delayed (Air Marshall, Object Viewer) and some work took much longer than planned (Pilot Career, P-39). As a result, a few new features planned for the Kuban cycle have been pushed to this Spring and Summer and will be part of the Battle of Bodenplatte development cycle. Since our core engine powers all products it really is just one large development cycle. All we need is enough time, patience and support from you and all can become a reality

    Let this release be an example of our unending desire to make a better product and do the best job we can with our small team and limited resources. The team has worked a miracle here once again and made me very proud of them as I know my constant demands make their lives more difficult. Please think of them when you fly and enjoy Battle of Kuban.

    P.S. I hope to see some of you at the 2018 Flight-Sim Expo in Las Vegas, NV USA taking place June 9-10of this year. https://www.flightsimexpo.com/

    Sincerely,

    Jason

    And without further delay, here is Daniel aka “Han” with the goodies you have been waiting for…










    From Daniel – Development Manager

    Hello Everybody,
     
    So, the day has come. Half a year has passed since the last update 2.012 which was, as you remember, quite large on its own and added many new features to the sim. But today the new 3.001 update, sets a new record for our project. We have never released so many additions of different types at once. Sure, it comes from the fact that much time has passed since the previous update. You may ask why it has taken so long - because two fundamental game parts were re-made almost completely.

     First of all, the old dynamic campaign is now replaced by the new Career. In this mode we have tried to create the best single-player experience we could. We’ve taken some elements from our Rise of Flight Career mode you may be familiar with and some from the Battle of Stalingrad campaign system and we added tons of new features and abilities along the way. This mode takes a WWII combat pilot experience to the next level and works in any theatre of war you own - Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Moscow and Battle of Kuban. If you have all three, you can play through all of them with the same character, starting in the cold winter of 1941 and finishing in 1943 on the warm shores of the Black Sea. The AI has been significantly improved to function in this mode as well. It is important to note that we plan to develop it further improving it and adding new mission types and interesting gameplay features in the very near future.

    The second hugely improved part of the game is its core. The evolutionary development we started back in 2017 brings fruit right now in the 3.001 update. The biggest change is the increased rendering distance of course. But this fundamental change led to many other additions and corrections, you can read the change list below. Many of these changes were anticipated by the community while some will be a pleasant surprise. The cumulative result of these changes makes our graphics engine one of the best in the genre.

    Another important addition is the new Cooperative multiplayer mode. Together with the updated statistics system and other new features, it will give our customers who prefer multiplayer new exciting opportunities.

    And of course, the biggest chunk of the 3.001 update is the new content. Five new aircraft including two new Collector Planes and the new historical static campaign 'Sea Dragons'. Also included are many new aircraft skins, the ability to host a game server from within the game client without using the dedicated server executable, 'Mods On' mode and many others. It is difficult not to forget something in this short overview, so here goes the update 3.001 change list:

    New Content:
    1.  A-20B bomber is added to the project and all Battle of Kuban owners can fly it now;
    2.  Yak-7b series 36 fighter is added to the project and all Battle of Kuban owners can fly it now;
    3.  P-39L-1 fighter is added to the project and all Battle of Kuban owners can fly it now;
    4.  New Collectors Plane: Bf 109 G-6 fighter;
    5.  New Collectors Plane: La-5FN series 2;
    6.  New Career single-player mode replaces the old dynamic campaign;
    7.  The new Cooperative multiplayer mode is available along with the classic Dogfight;
    8.  New historical static campaign 'Sea Dragons' designed by Alexander -BlackSix- Timoshkov telling the story of an IL-2 mod. 1943 pilot is added to the project and all Battle of Kuban owners can play it now;
    9.  Now you can host a multiplayer server from within the game client and play on it yourself;
    10.  New 'Mods On' mode allows modifying the game files. Multiplayer server owners can allow or disallow players with the modified game files to connect;
    11.  Bf-109 G-6 Collector Plane comes with painstakingly researched paint schemes created by community enthusiasts III/JG2_Gustav05 and I./ZG1_Panzerbar;
    12.  La-5FN series 2 Collector Plane comes with painstakingly researched paint schemes created by the community enthusiast I./ZG1_Panzerbar;
    13.  IL-2 mod. 1943 now comes with all of its textures made in 4K quality (default and all official paint schemes, bump, specular and damage textures) created by the community enthusiast =BlackHellHound1=;

    Graphics:
    14.  Terrain visibility distance has been increased from 40 to 150 kilometers with Settings option;
    15.  New raindrops effect on the cockpit and pilot glasses;
    16.  Clouds visibility distance has been increased from 40 to 150 kilometers;
    17.  Heavy cumulus clouds were made more complex, some of the weather variations now have two level clouds;
    18.  Because of the increased rendering distance, cumulus cloud patterns were reworked for all weather types;
    19.  Fixed the issue where clouds could drop shadows on the mountains above them;
    20.  Cloud 'moving' effect when you fly very close to it has been minimized;
    21.  Large white horizon band has been removed thanks to the new rendering distance;
    22.  Skydome lighting has been made bluer;
    23.  Cirrus clouds rendering has been improved;
    24.  Winter lighting has been tuned for more contrast shadows with a slight blue hue;
    25.  Completely redone texturing of summer and autumn Stalingrad maps: overall steppe look was made more authentic, fields tiling has been removed;
    26.  Landscape texture flickering on the big and steep mountains has been eliminated;
    27.  Tree crowns drop more detailed shadows;
    28.  Landscape detail change with distance has been made less apparent on Ultra graphics preset;
    29.  There is a new graphics option that enables or disables 4K textures (when set to On, the game will use 4K textures if available);
    30.  Player controlled tanks use the new visual tech that simulates prismatic optical instruments;
    31.  Player controlled tank Panzer III now has a movable prismatic visor and armor hatches that can cover the view slits;
    32.  Main menu and aircraft settings hangar scene now has a different lighting; welding blinks and sounds were removed;
    33.  Player controlled tank T-34 now uses the new tech that allows very detailed tank tracks (it will be used for the Tank Crew vehicles);

    AI Aircraft and Game World:
    34.  Damage to large objects from small explosions now calculated more accurately;
    35.  Some trees (on tree-line, along with the roads, individual ones) can be toppled with a powerful impact;
    36.  AI pilots evade mountains and hills better;
    37.  Shallow dive ground attack procedure has been improved for cases with high initial aircraft altitude;
    38.  AI pilots evade ground objects during shallow dive ground attack procedure better;
    39.  AI pilots will follow the flight leader even if the wingman player decides to fly elsewhere;
    40.  AI Hs-129 B-2 takes off correctly;
    41.  Heavy loaded AI planes take off correctly;
    42.  All AI planes in the group attack targets if there are enough of them;
    43.  All AI planes in the group choose targets correctly and won't attack the same target if there are enough of them;
    44.  AI priorities during the ground attack were updated. Primary targets are AAA, then locomotives, then tanks, then artillery, then everything else. Targets closer to the center of the ground attack area have more priority;
    45.  Ships damage modeling has been improved, they are harder to destroy;
    46.  Large ships except tankers have simulated damage control;
    47.  AI groups taxi to a flight strip faster;
    48.  Parachutes are correctly modeled in multiplayer;

    Physics, Aircraft Systems and Models:
    49.  Yak-1 machinegun synchronizer C2K-19 has been replaced with C2K-26 that fires three rounds per one propeller revolution instead of one;
    50.  UB machineguns and ShVAK dispersion on Yak-1 fighters has been corrected using the newly found test data;
    51.  IL-2 canopies can be fixed in the open position;
    52.  Ultimate load factor calculations were updated for all aircraft;
    53.  'Unbreakable' difficulty option now works correctly - an aircraft won't explode from a powerful impact when it is on;
    54.  The issue with He-111 engines having different initial throttle control positions after starting a mission in the air has been fixed;
    55.  IL-2 mod. 1943 instruments illumination works correctly now;
    56.  Compass locator on all aircraft now works only when powered and won't show strange readings when power is turned on or off or whenever a beacon signal is found or lost;
    57.  'Unbreakable' difficulty option now works correctly for Bf-110, He-111, Ju-88, Ju-52, IL-2 and Pe-2;
    58.  'Unbreakable' difficulty option now correctly turns flopped over MiG-3 and Hs-129 B2 back to normal position;
    59.  'Unbreakable' difficulty option now turns flopped over planes back to normal position without excessive overload and won't cause shaking of aircraft laying on the ground with retracted landing gear;
    60.  An aircraft or its parts won't kick up a dust or snow hitting a runway or other hard surface;
    61.  An aircraft losing a small part won't display a debris cloud effect;
    62.  Damage model issue has been fixed (a fractured part won't break off when completely stationary);
    63.  Aircraft canopies now break off at correct places;
    64.  Jettisoned Bf-109 Е7 canopy now correctly adds drag, broken off parts have corrected aerodynamic characteristics;
    65.  Oil viscosity changes with temperature, causing an engine to be damaged faster when the maximum oil temperature is exceeded;
    66.  The control wheel of the R-7 constant speed governor rotates much slower according to reference data resulting in much slower propeller RPM switching (IL-2, MiG-3, Pe-2 series 87, Yak-1 series 69 and Yak-7b series 36 are affected);
    67.  Because of the slower propeller RPM switching on IL-2, MiG-3, Pe-2 series 87, Yak-1 series 69 and Yak-7b series 36, 'Engine auto control' difficulty option automatically lowers the propeller pitch if the landing gear is released and IAS is dropping (to make go-around during landing possible);
    68.  Ammo counters on Fw-190 A-3, Fw-190 A-5, Bf-110 G-2 and MC.202 ser. 8 were corrected;
    69.  Metal surfaces on P-40E-1, P-39L-1, A-20B and MC.202 series 8 now rendered differently for polished metal visual effect (others to come in the future);
    70.  IL-2 mod. 1943 visual damage effects were corrected so fractured parts won't appear hanging in the air;
    71.  Rear armored glass joints on Yak-1b series 127 now look better;
    72.  MG 15 reload handle position on Ju 52 has been corrected;

    Statistics System:
    73.  Remnants of the aircraft unlocking system in statistics are completely gone;
    74.  Statistics data in all game modes made more detailed with subcategories;
    75.  Statistics screen shows secondary objective status in all game modes;
    76.  Completed and failed objectives can be displayed on the flight map in all game modes if enabled by a mission designer;
    77.  Victory points are now calculated differently and don't depend on difficulty level;
    78.  All game modes now share the same flight status system. Point modifiers are changed in Dogfight mode;
    79.  Pilot capture by the enemy now works in all game modes (if a mission designer has set up the friendly and enemy territories using Influence Area instrument). Tank crews can't be captured;

    Multiplayer:
    80.  Multiplayer server options now don't depend on the difficulty level;
    81.  Player ban time can be specified in server options;
    82.  Players can view Dogfight statistics and vote for a ban in the lobby or during flight;
    83.  Dogfight servers now recognize Trigger Mission Objective conditions (completing Primary Objective grants a win to one of the teams while completing Secondary Objectives reduces the 'life points' of a team;

    User interface:
    84.  Mission route on the map made clearer;
    85.  Single mission lists made more convenient and compact;
    86.  Campaign designers can now block aircraft loadouts and modifications separately (previously it was possible to block them only simultaneously);
    87.  Many user interface elements made more compact;
    88.  New option added: user interface scaling (useful for monitors with high DPI);
    89.  Credits added to the main menu;
    90.  The game client won't hang anymore on the very first run during input devices initialization;

    'Blazing Steppe' campaign:
    91.  The campaign has been updated to the current mission design standard;
    92.  Map tactical overlays are updated to be more detailed;
    93.  Waypoint following logic has been improved;
    94.  Take-off is counted when 30 meters altitude is reached instead of 200, making the take-off of large joint groups faster and reducing the possibility of skipping the first waypoint;
    95.  Text translations are updated.

    '10 Days of Autumn' campaign:
    96.  The campaign has been completely reworked;
    97.  Map tactical overlays are redone;
    98.  Waypoint following logic has been improved;
    99.  Take-off is counted when 30 meters altitude is reached instead of 200, making the take-off of large joint groups faster and reducing the possibility of skipping the first waypoint;
    100.  Skipping intermediate waypoints won't interfere with the mission progress and landing on the home airfield anymore;
    101.  Now there are more aircraft in the air at the same time in some missions, somewhat increasing the difficulty level;
    102.  Text translations are updated.


    Please discuss the update in this thread.

    F-20 Tigershark: Risky business Part 2
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
      In part 2 we continue to look at the Northrop F-20A Tigershark and how its story intertwines with other aircraft programs of the 1980s.     Another F-20 is flown The second Pre-production F-20 (82-0063 / GI1001) was flown in August 1983. This configuration included a bigger radome, enlarged canopy, and an up-rated 17,000 lb thrust F404 engine. (Note: The first pre-production jet mentioned in part 1 (82-0062) also received the 17,000 lb thrust engine in 1983.) Also note: “Pre-production” means that Northrop was not going through a Prototype or Full Scale Development (FSD) phase so these aircraft were actually intended to be sold with the F-20 upgrades and changes.  F-20 #2 (Northrop Grumman)     Let’s get some people on board to really help sell it (F-20 Tigershark Vs F-15) You remember the Light Weight Fighter Mafia right – well they had mostly since left the Pentagon and had reformed as the err “Reformers” (or “Critics” to the USAF), which included John Boyd, Ex USAF Col Everest Riccioni, Pierre Sprey, Chuck Spinney and James Fallows. James Fallows was Washington editor for The Atlantic Monthly.( Described as an anti-military liberal journalist) Fallows had cottoned onto the Reformers in 1979 when researching ideas on how to cut military budgets and had interviewed John Boyd who was still smarting over what was done to the F-16. Fallows was able to gain publicity for the Reformers and their ideas, for example through the best-selling book National Defense in 1981. The Reformers had jumped on the AIMVAL/ACEVAL (Air Intercept Missile Evaluation / Air Combat Evaluation) results in the late 1970s where Red force F-5s had faced off against a blue force of F-15 and F-14s, and the book National Defense was the perfect platform to spin the results. The book took choice cuts from the results carefully omitting information that didn’t fit their agenda and the press went for it, with the Chicago Tribune printing that the F-15 had been “fought to all but a draw” by the F-5 and CBS calling the F-15 a “turkey”. In National Defense reformer Everest Riccioni claimed F-15s couldn’t fly many sorties and so the Air Force actually had a “Phantom fleet”. He then claimed the Air Force could buy 1000 advanced F-5s (The F-20) for the cost of 250 F-15s and generate 10 times more sorties in wartime (2500 v 250). Did I mention that Northrop had hired Everest Riccioni and Pierre Sprey at the time and Riccioni was working on the F-20 program. In reality what had happened in AIMVAL/ACEVAL was that tactics used were not entirely realistic and a lot of it was skewed in favour of the F-5. Despite this the F-15 still had a 2.5 Kill ratio in favour and the AIM-7 (another Reformers target) was responsible of the majority of the simulated kills. From the USAF point of view neither Pierre Sprey or Everest Riccioni had any credibility compared to John Boyd (who had taken a back seat at this stage) and the scraping nails account of this episode suggests this did more harm than good to the F-20 program regarding US support. F-15C - Can you say “it’s a Turkey” in a Pierre Sprey accent? (Airliners.net)         What else could have upset the USAF Although a typical sales tactic, Northrop had no real data to back up any claims they were making for the F-20 such as cost, reliability and sortie rate. For example, as RAND point out………. Northrop claims of reliability on the F-20 were pretty much irrelevant. Only 1500 flights in a “test” environment with hand-picked engineers cannot be compared to years of “operational” experience the F-16 had around the world maintained by guys with varied experience in different environments. True cost and sortie rate could never be known as none ever went operational. Some of Northrop’s claims also seemed to stay the same despite airframe and avionics changes that would increase cost.       F-20 goes to Top Gun Back in the mid-1970s the USAF were allocated F-5s that never made it to South Vietnam that were wanted because they were very similar in performance and some other aspects to the MiG-21 and so were perfect to use as aggressors at Red Flag. Naturally in 1984 when the US Navy wanted a MiG-29 simulator / aggressor for Top Gun, Northrop seeing a way in offered the F-20A at a low price with its promise of lower operating costs. Senator Pete Wilson had managed to get money through congress in the hope the F-20 was selected.   General Dynamics also offered the F-16N (F-16C Block 30 with gun replaced by ballast) for a very low £11m each which was the same unit price as the F-20.  The USN went with the F-16 which they believed to be a better simulator for 4th Gen threats…and it probably was being a bit larger with superior performance, also high-tech avionics were not required, in fact they stuck in the basic APG-66 radar from the A model. The USN literally got steal of the century on unit cost here…………. or they would have done if someone at the Navy hadn’t specified titanium wing attachment brackets without testing them (another story). F-16N (Lockheed Martin)             Another F-20A flies The third pre-production F-20 (82-0064 / GI1002) first flew on May 12 1984 and was similar to 82-0063 / GI1001 in configuration it seems. F-20 Pre-production figures from Flight Manual    F-20 #3 (Northrop Grumman)         Tragedy befalls Northrop and the program On the 10th October 1984 the first pre-production F-20 (82-0062) crashed at Suwon Air Base in Korea killing pilot Darrell Cornell. Cornell had apparently succumbed to G-LOC after a 9G pull up as part of practicing an established demonstration routine with the aircraft appearing unresponsive after the maneuver.       The Northrop F-18L and McAir All this time Northrop had been having a handbag face slapping argument with McDonnell Douglas (McAir). In October 1979, Northrop filled a $700 million antitrust suit against McAir. Northrop had developed the YF-17 for the Light Weight Fighter (LWF) competition in 1974 and this was later developed into the FA-18 carrier-based fighter under some kind of teaming agreement. Under this agreement McAir as prime contractor would build 60% of the carrier capable FA-18 and Northrop would build 40%. For the land-based F-18L Northrop were prime contractor building 60% and McAir building 40%. The Northrop F-18L was what might have been if the YF-17 had won in 74. Without all the extra weight needed for carrier ops and a totally different 9G structure it was over 2500 lbs lighter with a top end of M2.0 and was initially specified with a hard wing losing 3000 lbs of fuel reducing its range. Northrop basically had accused McAir of trying to monopolize the business and basically interfering with the F-18Ls chances of success in the export market by launching active sales efforts for the FA-18 to potential customers when they showed interest in the F-18L. Another suit also claimed McAir was unfairly using Northrop technology from the F-18L to sell its own FA-18. McAir then counter-sued against Northrop, claiming that the Northrop F-20 avionics had been taken from the McAir FA-18…….   The suit was finally settled by April 1985……. which meant McDonnell Douglas would pay Northrop $50 million and become the prime/sole contractor for all FA-18s including export sales, and thus the F-18L was never heard from again………….. The F-18L - another unloved Light Weight Fighter devoid of orders (Northrop Grumman)       F-16C v F-20A merge head on In April 1985 to try and finally get some sales from the US Government, Northrop offered 396 F-20s to replace current F-16C production at a fixed price of $15 million, undercutting the F-16C fixed price of $18 million. General Dynamics hit back with a 720-plane proposal for stripped down F-16s at $13.5 million each with cheaper avionics. These were apparently jokingly referred to as the “F-16C-minus”. This clearly came to nothing.   F-20 #3 again (Northrop Grumman)     Another Tragedy On the 14th May 1985 at Goose Bay, Canada the second pre-production F-20 (82-0063 / GI1001) crashed in a similar manner to the first killing Dave Barnes. Barnes was incapacitated during or after a 9G pull up as part of the demonstration being practised for the Paris air show. With no flight recorder on board the enquiry attributed this again to G-LOC and possibly a result of reduced G tolerance after flying four high G demonstration flights that day.       The Air Defense Fighter (ADF) competition In 1986 the US Air Force (as ordered by Congress) held a competition for 270 mainland Interceptors for the defense of the Continental US. Both the F-20 and F-16 were contenders, and good point defense fighters despite the reservations of some. Sadly, again the F-20 was not favoured for a few reasons: · The F-20 was not in production so the costs couldn’t be guaranteed The cost to operate and maintain it would be higher than Northrop had claimed.   In the end neither the General Dynamics or the Northrop proposal were selected by the Air Force, instead it was decided to take 270 F-16A Block 15s in service from the Air National Guard (ANG) and modify them to an ADF and OCU (Operational Capability Upgrade) standard, with: A higher thrust F100-PW-220 engine Capability to use bigger 600 US Gal drop tanks An Advanced IFF interrogator An upgraded APG-66 (V) 1 radar with increased range, small target capability and the capability to fire AIM-120 and AIM-7.   F-16 A Air Defense Fighters (USAF)       Making the F-20 better (The fourth Pre-production jet) Interestingly by the 1986 ADF competition there had been changes to the F-20 to increase range and deal with carriage of AIM-7s with proposals to: Increase internal fuel to 5050 lbs by replacing the fuselage bladder with integral fuel tanks. Increase external drop tank size. Increase thrust of the F404 to 18000 lbs to offset the extra weight and drag. New Electromagnetic Maneuvering flaps. Fly By Wire control system with backup Hydromechanical controls (similar to FA-18) Northrop & GE were also working on an upgraded APG-67 radar with enhanced range. This was proposed by putting a bigger antenna on it and moving it back in the nose. Luckily, they also intended to replace the obsolete M39s with a single modern gun to make some room for the radar move. This is said to have been planned for the fourth Pre-Production aircraft (82-0065/ GI1003) but was only 25% compete when cancelled. This remained a paper airplane but nonetheless a valiant effort to reduce some of the performance deficiencies. Of course, the glaring problem here is that by making these changes the cost and complexity increases, reducing its advertised selling points and ending up with a jet that offers nothing significant over the F-16 and FA-18…………and unfortunately the US was still not interested in buying it.     The end Northrop closed the F-20 program at the end of 1986 at the cost of around $1.2 billion……… it just was not meant to be with everything against it. However, despite the loss Northrop were still doing okay out of the FA-18, ATF (YF-23) and B-2 programs at that time. No conciliation to them but perhaps an example of how competition can sometimes benefit US services by keeping cost down.     Summary of the F-5G/F-20A Pre-Production Aircraft     F-20A on Display at the California Science Center https://californiasciencecenter.org/exhibits/air-space/air-aircraft/f-20-tigershark                     Sources F-20A Utility Flight Manual (NTM 1F-20A-1) for GI1001 & GI1002, Jan 1984 (Northrop) Northrop F-5G/F20A Tigershark (Baugher J ) 2000 online at http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/f5_51.html A Case study of the F-20 Tigershark (Martin, Schmidt) 1987, RAND Corporation The Reformers (Correll JT), Feb 2008 Air Force Magazine. P40-44 The Revolt of the Majors How the Air Force changed after Vietnam (Michell III, ML) Auburn University Sierra Hotel: Flying Air Force fighters in the decade after Vietnam. (Anderegg CR) 2001 Air Force History and Museums Program Boyd (Coram R) 2002, Back Bay Books F-20A Tigershark (Wade, M) 2007 online at http://www.thecid.com/f20a/index.html F-16.net online at http://www.f-16.net/ Code One Magazine (General Dynamics) Northrop F-18L (Baugher J), 2000 online at http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_fighters/f18_9.html Huge Lawsuit settled, ( AP News archive) 1985, online at http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1985/Huge-Lawsuit-Settled/id-cca766d9766ec7f4d1aa29c5ca5db7cb The Land Based F-18L, Flight International December 1978 p2034-2035 Title Photos for Part 1 and Part 2 from Northrop Grumman    

    F-20 Tigershark: Risky business Part 1
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
    Northrop fighter programs and luck are not things you will often hear in the same sentence. Here we look at the short lived Tigershark and some of its contenders for the lucrative 1980s export market.     In the 1960s and through the 1970s Northrop produced and sold the superb F-5AB Freedom Fighter and F-5EF Tiger II to the export Foreign Military Sales (FMS) market. In fact over 30 countries had procured 2600 F-5s in 28 different configurations by the mid-1980s. In the late 1970s Taiwan had a requirement for a fighter that could fire BVR missiles like the AIM-7 – unfortunately the US government had to appease mainland China so the F-4/F-16/F-18 were out……… and so the US Department of Defense (DOD) asked Northrop to adapt the F-5E.   F-5E Aggressor (Airliners.net)   Sadly, with AIM-7s and a bigger radar, performance of the new F-5E was lackluster and Taiwan was not interested. So, the DoD asked Northrop to look into a more suitable configuration, which ended up with a new F404 engine and the designation of F-5G. The Carter administration at the time decided to put a cap on exports to certain developing countries and stipulated the US would only export fighters that were modifications of existing aircraft and thus "inferior" to US front line fighters. Also, any company submitting proposals had to fund it themselves! The ruling favoured the less advanced F-5G and not the F-16A, so with Northrop already having the F-5 market to themselves it sounded like a risk worth taking.     The FX proposal (F-5G Vs the F-16-79) The requirement for the FX was for a fighter with performance somewhere between the F-5E and the F-16A, and so Northrop and General Dynamics submitted their proposals.   Northrop F-5G The proposed F-5G turned out to be far superior to the F-5E, the choice of GE 404 turbofan engine in 1978 gave the F-5 around 60% more thrust (16,000 lbs max) and really was the jewel in the crown here.  This engine was also being used for the FA-18 and despite not being mature it had potential to be simpler, lighter, more reliable with less IR signature than the old turbojets (like the J79) with far less fuel consumption. With Digital Engine Controls the pilot didn’t have to worry about compressor stalling the thing. This certainly looked to have superior performance to the F-16-79 on paper. Northrop would have to develop avionics inferior to those in the F-16A for export purposes and looked at bids from Westinghouse, Emerson, Hughes, Norden and General Electric (GE) however none were chosen before the F-5G configuration had to be upgraded.   General Dynamics F-16-79 RAND called the F-16-79 half hearted, however General Dynamics had to find ways to cripple the F-16 in certain areas and one way to do this was to use the J79-GE-17X engine. The idea was that there were a lot of used J79s available in the world………so in theory this would be cheaper and easier to maintain and upgrade for these export customers. ·         The J79 engine was a slightly enhanced version of that in the F-104 & F-4 (was originally for the F-4). It had around 18,000 lbs max thrust and a bit more with a feature called “Combat Edge” that could be used for very short periods. ·         The F-16-79 had over 2000 lbs extra weight due to the heat shielding for the J79 and different Air intake and changes to the rear of the fuselage. ·         Range was significantly reduced. ·         Despite inferior performance to the F100 in the F-16A, the F-16-79 was actually faster top end due to the J79 and the different air intake. It is the only F-16 to fly over M2.1 in level flight as known.   Plenty flew the converted F-16B Block 0 (75-0752) and no one was impressed. It lacked performance where it mattered and more importantly the USAF were not flying it. For some reason Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers decided to get delusions of grandeur at that period in time and expected to fly what the top air forces flew.   F-16-79: note the very different engine! (Lockheed Martin)   Disaster strikes As is life with any risks a government can come in change things for everybody (not just large corporations). In 1981 Jimmy Carter was out and Ronald Reagan (The actor!*) was in the White House and things quickly went south. Carters export policy was backed at first but it would seem export customers were not happy unless they were flying the same toys as the USAF. Export restrictions were lifted in 1983 and the F-5G was now competing against the real F-16A. (bollox) Let’s look at what Northrop was now faced with: ·         The F-16 was an established Air Force program with a Multi Staged Improvement Program and established logistics chain. ·         The USAF flew the F-16……………. again FMS customers were now picky and wanted to fly a jet the USAF flew and supported. ·         The F-16A was superior in turn performance, range, payload, comparable in climb and had better growth potential. ·         Buying more F-16s would favour the US by keeping the cost of them lower and the cost was now getting lower due to more buys from the Reagan Administration.     Ronald Reagan in Spitting Image form (ITV)   Changing a Tigers stripes Not giving up Northrop decided to roll up their sleeves and get busy……or throw lots of money at the problem. All they had to do was make the F-5G beyond exceptional and also somehow pander to the US Government and the USAF to get them to buy it…. simple. Northrop now had to market the F-5G as a 4th Generation jet somehow, so the F-5G first became the Tigershark, which later became the F-20A Tigershark. Northrop had decided to concentrate all their funds on the one area they could compete………. that being avionics.   The F-20A takes off The First Pre-Production Tigershark (82-0062 / GG1001) first flew in April of 1982 with a 16,000 lb thrust YF404 engine and revised rear fuselage with larger tail. It also had an hydromechanical flight control system with a computer-controlled Augmentation system (CAS)  F-20 #1 (Northrop Grumman)   Avionics extraordinaire In June 1981 Northrop had taken the step of telling General Electric (GE) to build a radar above and beyond the export spec and ideally superior in every way to the AN/APG-66 in the F-16A except range………. this was given the designation AN/APG-67. Ex USAF fighter pilot Pat “Gums” McAdoo was hired by Northrop as a consultant and used / saw some of the avionic developments, and confirmed they were far better than what was in the F-16A and in some ways better than what was being done for the F-16C Block 25 at the time. ·         Pilot interface was very easy to use for non-geeks and had been developed partly by an ex F-100 pilot. Some of these concepts were similar to the FA-18 and some found their way into later versions of the F-16C ·         The APG-67 radar was way Beyond the basic APG-66 radar and had more modes such as Track While Scan, Velocity search and a great Ground Map ·         Ring-laser Inertial Navigation System (INS) made start up very quick. ·         Had visual and radar bomb modes (CCIP / CCRP). ·         Flight control system in development was similar to the FA-18 a Fly By Wire augmentation system with hydromechanical backup.   The F-20 was the ideal foreign military sales jet.  It had short legs, but very quick response times from a cold start. The RLG inertial was awesome. The radar was way beyond what the Viper had at the time - track-while-scan, velocity search, really nice ground map, etc. The data entry design was awesome. Using the entry panel below the HUD was really easy, The most surprising thing was the MacIntosh-style stuff on the MFD's. I had not even seen a MAC when I showed up. But one great example was the radar display on one of the MFD'S. If you moved the cursor over to a radar mode or a range indication, then you got a pop-up menu and could cursor to desired mode and hit the "designate" button.    Pats involvement also gives us some insight into what the USAF considered important in a combat jet at that time. The avionics were vastly improved thanks to digital computers but they were still just a step up from the 3rd Gen paradigm with many flaws. The F-20 was a very capable interceptor with a great radar and great performance. RLG inertial that took less than a minute to align, TWS radar, extremely easy to use all the avionics. In short, I liked it. But I liked the Viper more, despite its crappy hands-on controls compared to the F-20. It had better turn performance and much better legs and could carry more pig iron. AN/APG-67 in TWS mode (Northrop Grumman)   Head Up Display (HUD) in CCIP mode (Northrop Grumman)   Let’s sell this thing anyway Another consultant and ex USAF legend working with Pat at Northrop was Charles “Chuck” Yeager who also flew the pre-production birds. Chuck was used on the promotional videos and you can hear the sales pitch here:      How to rub salt into wounds   In 1982 (Just as the F-20 marketing began to get into swing) under pressure from China, Reagan had vetoed the export of the F-5G and F-16 to Taiwan and thus the launch customer and the whole reason for the F-5G existing went down the pan. Luckily for Taiwan (and less luckily for Northrop) a program to develop another fighter was started in its place with rival General Dynamics (probably to the slight annoyance of Northrop). This fighter developed by AIDC and General Dynamics was to become the F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo and to rub in more salt they even incorporated the APG-67 radar developed for the F-20! AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo (Airliners.net)       Let’s now take the urine In 1983 Reagan allowed funding for Israel to start development of their own fighter in this class that turned into the IAI Lavi. Clearly from Northrop’s point of view the logic that US tax payers should pay for the Lavi while Northrop funded the F-20 by itself seemed a tad off. Eventually this logic may have caught up with the US government when Israel cancelled the program in 1987 influenced by a clear change of attitude from the US. IAI Lavi   (Military-Today.com)     In part 2 Northrop hire Pierre Sprey.....................     * Yes that is a reference to Back to the Future........I thank you.

Portal by DevFuse · Based on IP.Board Portal by IPS


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