Hello everybody, Today we have a small surprise for you. But we aren't its authors: it was made by an enthusiast from the Netherlands, Neeraj =BlackHellHound1= Bindraban. Neeraj turned out to be the biggest enthusiast among the Soviet WWII aircraft skin artists since he was the first to finish the entire path of re-texturing an aircraft in 4K. Not only he remade the skins in 4K, he also made many corrections to the base textures of the IL-2 mod. 1943. He started his work as early as June 2017 and finished it only now, since it was a lot of work to redraw all this in 4K to achieve the new level of detail: - All panel lines, hatches, rivets, etc. in 4K detail - Dirt and wear layer - Texture alpha channel that governs matte effect, reflections and glint - Bump texture that visualizes small surface details - Bump texture alpha channel that governs the damage visualization - Damage texture that shows bullet holes, raptures and other visible surface damage - 15 existing and new paint schemes Here are some screenshots showing the new look from the IL-2 mod. 1943 cockpit: ... new damage look: ... and new skins that you'll get together with a ton of other improvements and additions in the update 3.001: Neeraj became a trailblazer in converting the entire set of aircraft textures and skins to 4K resolution and encountered difficulties all the pioneers face. He managed to overcome all these difficulties and hopefully other enthusiasts will follow, helping to take the visual clarity of various aircraft to the new level. You can discuss the news in this thread
Hello everybody, The end of January draws near and we're finishing the BoK development. The new functionality of the coming version 3.001 is being actively tested and debugged, our volunteer beta tester team helps us in this task greatly. This development stage is hard, but it consists of routine work mostly, not very exciting to tell about. However, there is a development which might be interesting for you to know. Andrey =AnPetrovich= Solomykin finished the Yak-7b series 36 flight model but, being the lead engineer, he couldn't just 'make a new plane'. During this work, he implemented many new features which in time may be applied to other aircraft. In addition, while we have a common flight modeling accuracy standard, this time some characteristics were modeled with higher fidelity. Here's the list of Yak-7b FM features: 1. Maximum horizontal speed matches the reference data at all altitudes with 1% difference margin (less than 5 km/h). 2. Climb time matches the reference data with 4% difference margin (less than 8 seconds difference lower than 6000 m and less than 34 seconds at higher altitudes). 3. Turn time matches the reference data with 0.5 seconds difference margin. 4. Takeoff and landing speeds with or without flaps match the reference data with 2-3 km/h difference margin (takeoff run accuracy is 10-20 m). 5. Inertial model is congruent with the reference data for all load variants including fuel and ammo mass. 6. Shock absorbers and tire load are congruent with the reference data in all drop tests. 7. New canopy functionality: 7.1 Canopy opening or closing delay after the player input has been corrected. 7.2 It is impossible to open or close the canopy at speeds higher than 600 km/h. 7.3 Canopy damage model and wind sound corrected. 7.4 Moving canopy recoils when it hits the limit. 7.5 Player can repeat the canopy move command if canopy releases from the lock on its own and didn't lock at the opposite lock. 7.6 If a pilot finds himself in an unlucky flip over situation on the ground, it may be impossible to open the canopy. 8. New flaps functionality: 8.1 Flaps pneumatic valve can be set to the neutral position instead of retracting position, making the flaps retract by air flow pressure instead of a sharp retracement. 8.2 An incorrect flaps behavior, while pushed back by the air flow pressure, has been addressed. 9. Pneumatic valves in the cockpit are being turned in an anthropomorphically realistic way since a human hand can't turn something 360 degrees without pauses. 10. Constant speed governor wheel has been slowed down realistically (synchronized with a virtual axis while controlling it from keyboard). 11. Propeller pitch automatically lowers during landing if the automatic pitch control is selected in difficulty settings. 12. Oil overpressure results in an oil leak. 13. Oil and water radiator scoops can be lost due to combat damage. 14. The airframe structural fatigue and combat damage dependencies on the G load have been adjusted. 15. Fuel pressure indicator shows realistic data while the engine cylinders are being primed with fuel during the engine start. 16. Force Feedback effects were adjusted for higher flight speeds. 17. Oil injector functions correctly during engine warm up (if you start a mission from parking). 18. Instruments and switches function correctly with all interdependencies. 19. Correct Venturi tube modeling in UP-1 gyro, KI-10 gyro modeling. 20. Engine start and turning off procedures fully correspond to the pilot's manual. 21. Landing gear bays and flaps affect flight dynamics correctly in all possible landing gear and flaps combinations (including flaps being lost). 22. Neutral virtual flight stick position corresponds to the real joystick flight stick position for FFB and regular joysticks (taking into account the elevator trim and fixed trim tabs). 23. Aircraft balance changes correctly in an event of fins or fins control rods loss for FFB and regular joysticks (taking into account the fixed trim tab position on the left aileron and both elevator trim tabs). 24. Fins with broken control rods correctly re-orient themselves when the air flow speed drops, affecting the FFB neutral position. While working on Yak-7b, Andrey was also able to add these features and corrections to other aircraft: 1. Radio compasses on all planes work only when powered and show correct readings when switched on or off and when the beacon signal is lost or acquired. 2. An aircraft can no longer explode when 'Unbreakable' difficulty option is selected. 3. These aircraft can't be damaged anymore with 'Unbreakable' difficulty option selected: - Bf 110 E-2 - Bf 110 G-2 - He 111 H-6 - He 111 H-16 - Ju 88 A-4 - Ju 52 3mg4e - IL-2 mod. 41 - IL-2 mod. 42 - Pe-2 series 35 - Pe-2 series 87 4. 'Unbreakable' difficulty option: flipped over MiG-3 and Hs-129 B2 turn back to a normal position. 5. 'Unbreakable' difficulty option: turning back a flipped over aircraft happens correctly and there are no artificial oscillations that could happen when an aircraft lies on its belly. 6. When a plane or its fragment hit a concrete, ice or packed snow surface, dust or snow cloud effects won't be shown. 7. Loss of smaller aircraft fragments won't be accompanied by a dust cloud visual effect. 8. Damage modeling artifacts have been fixed (i.e. sudden breakage of damaged aircraft parts in a resting state). 9. Lost canopies fall off from a correct place on an aircraft. 10. Lost canopy and other parts of Bf-109 Е7 correctly affect its aerodynamic characteristics. 11. Oil viscosity changes correctly with temperature, resulting in faster engine failures when the oil is overheated. 12. Constant propeller speed governor R-7 control wheels were made slower according to reference data. These governors were installed on the following aircraft: - IL-2 mod. 41 - IL-2 mod. 42 - IL-2 mod. 43 - MiG-3 series 24 - Pe-2 series 87 - Yak-1 series 69 - Yak-7b series 36 In addition, for all these planes (if 'Engine auto control' difficulty option is selected) the propeller pitch is automatically lowered when instrument speed drops and the landing gear is released (to help in a situation when an urgent go around procedure might be needed). As usual, here are some visual pics to compensate that wall of text above. Here are P-39 official painting schemes:
Flying World War 1 from the start, with some new campaigns for Il-2's CUP mod!
The recent Combined User Patch (CUP) for Il-2 1946 now has four modules: Dawn of Flight for World War 1, Golden Age for the inter-war period, Wings at War for WW2, and the Jet Age for the post-war era. For the first of these, SAS's Monty, of The Full Monty fame - the Il-2 mod, not the movie! - has just released a set of scripted-mission campaigns. And naturally, being long interested in the air war of that period, this was one that I wasted no time in trying out.
So far, the first part of an eventual 32 'mission set campaigns' is available, and you can find the details over at the SAS forum, here. Most unusually for a WW1 sim, what this first part gives us is the ability to fly from the very start of the First World War, in August 1914. The first mission set - 'Demarcation' - kicks off in the Vosges, where the demarcation line ran between the French and German empires or that period.
Up to now, the earliest WW1 flight sim missions have flown have been from the era of the Fokker Scourge in the summer of 1915. So while I knew not to expect too much in the way of air combat at a time when most aircraft were unarmed and those that were, generally relied on carbines or pistols carried aloft by their crew, I was keen to try out something new, with the option of jumping ahead any time I wanted; in particular, the 1916 Verdun campaign tickled my fancy, with the opportunity it seemed to fly as the famous Jean Navarre, whose Nieuport Bébé, painted red before von Richthofen copied him, was the terror of the Boches and the hero of the Poilus.
The 'Demarcation' campaign is the first mission-set in the series and sees the player flying a Nieuport N4 monoplane. This famous French company is of course more famous for their V-strutted fighters starting with the Nieuport 10 and 11. But pre-war, Nieuport was noted for its racing or sports planes including a line of neat monoplanes, from which comes the aircraft I’ll be flying on this campaign. There’s some more info about the type on Wikipedia, here; evidently the type was quite widely used, albeit in small numbers, notably by the Russian Air Service. For this campaign I’m with the French air service, which was probably the biggest and best of the combatant air forces at the start of the war and in the thick of it from start to last.
In the early months of WW1, aircraft were purely for visual reconnaissance and were not routinely armed. Rare exceptions included the Farman of Louis Strange, 5 Squadron Royal Flying Corps, who contrived to fit a Lewis Gun, only to be ordered to remove it after the extra weight resulted in the aircraft failing to get high enough to intercept a snooping German warplane. Thereafter, pistols and carbines remained the only (generally ineffectual) option for aircrew who fancied having a crack at their opposite numbers in the air. The first air-to-air ‘kill’ came in October 1914, when Sergeant Joseph Frantz and Corporal Louis Quénault brought down a German Aviatik; Quénault reportedly had to finish the job with a rifle after his Hotckhiss MG packed it in.
As I was soon to discover, my single-seater Nieuport is armed from the get-go, with what looks like a Danish Masden mag-fed LMG. The real catch is that it’s mounted to fire upwards to clear the propeller arc, this being before the introduction of deflectors or interrupter gear. Lanoe Hawker had some success in 1915 in a Bristol Scout with a Lewis gun mounted to fire left and ahead so this arrangement isn’t entirely untypical of the sort of lash-ups early aviators made from early in the war, to get a decent crack at the enemy in a single-seater, with no observer to man a flexibly-mounted gun.
Here’s the mission brief. It's just as well I've got the MG, because apparently, the enemy fliers have been activer over our territory. While my patrol zone is marked as a recce objective (eye graphic on a yellow triangle) our aims are offensive in nature. It's a defensive patrol, for two of us, though by the sound of it, my companion’s dodgy motor means that I might be alone. We don’t have far to go, in the horizontal sense anyway. But this is the Vosges and elevation will be a different matter, as I will soon find out. Typically for these new missions, you can forget about one of IL-2's most useful navigational map aids - there's no minimap path. This is 1914 after all, just over ten years from Kittyhawk and Orville and Wilbur's first successful flights in a heavier-than-air flying machine.
Intrigued to find out how my first venture into virtual 1914 military aviation will work out, I wasted no time launching the mission, having made sure that in the difficulty settings, I had turned off flutter and wind effects (which the WW1 flight models can’t cope with – IIRC they result in planes having regular attacks of ‘the wobbles’).
And this is what I saw. Truly, our airfield is a veritable diorama, packed with people, vehicles and other aircraft. While the people aren’t animated, it’s still an impressive spectacle, packed with interest.
My number two tried a couple of times to get his engine running but each time it spluttered to a stop; possibly just as well as the bloke in front of him seemed disinclined to get out of his way. My motor showed no such reluctance and after a quick look around I decided to take off straight ahead, without worrying about runways. This worked out just fine, my lightweight aircraft lifting off at a speed which didn’t seem much faster than some of the trucks motoring around the airfield.
Sitting roughly at mid-chord above a broad wing, it was obvious I wasn’t going to see much from the cockpit. The Voisins and Farmans parked around the airfield would have made much better reconnaissance machines, and indeed they served on after Nieuport monoplanes had disappeared from the front lines. Flying from the external view, I got a much better view of both my aircraft and its surroundings.
And fine surroundings they were. Our airfield turned out to be on a little plateau set into the side of an impressive mountain, which comprised a series of peaks with lower ‘saddles’ in between. I resisted the temptation to play that song from that musical, but the hills, if not alive with the sound of music, certainly looked worth the trip.
After a bit of sight-seeing, orienting myself with the help of the map, I realised that my reconnaissance objective had been rather inconveniently sited at the top of the highest peak. As my rate of climb seemed to be rather close to the ‘imperceptible’ end of the scale, this presented me with a bit of a problem. Throttle fully open, I settled into the best climb I could manage on a course parallel to the long side of the ridge or peaks. Compared to the WW2 planes I’m used to flying in Il-2, it felt like I was in a powered glider, and a nose-heavy one at that. Heck, this ‘racing’ plane felt slow, compared to the WW1 planes I’d flown in other sims. Slow...but not too sedate, with a tendency to dive away or begin a roll to either side, if I didn’t concentrate on keeping things level. With little dihedral, a small unbalanced rudder and wing warping for lateral control, this seemed to make sense. Quite an interesting experience in itself, the flight was shaping up to be.
Realising that I was not going to gain enough height on one leg, I could not resist the temptation of turning right and crossing the ridgeline over one of the saddles. Even getting high enough to do this, took a certain amount of time and effort and I just scraped across. Having gone over the mountain to see what I could see, like the bear in the song the result was not unexpected – the other side of the mountain.
I now flew a long leg away from the objective to gain sufficient height. That done, I turned around - gently, so as not to lose any of my precious height - and made my way back, aiming for the top of the correct peak.
Finally I was right over the summit. I should have over-flown my objective to one side or the other, but I was quite keen for my track on the map to intersect the centre of the target marker, lest such precision was needed for mission success or to trigger some necessary mission event.
In fact it worked – I got the ‘mission completed’ text so that was it. And I didn’t get shot at, or even see a single enemy aircraft. They were there, though, but I only realised that later, when I noticed an enemy aircraft icon on a screenshot which I had taken with the mini-map view briefly turned on!!! To be honest, I'd sort of forgotten the briefing, having been so taken up with the actual flying side of the challenge. And I had become rather fixated on overflying that big marker, as if I were genuinely on a recce flight. Anyway, the top of that mountain was about as bare as a mountain-top can be. Giving up on earlier ideas about putting in a flypast at the castle I’d seen on a lower peak nearby, I decided that honour had been satisfied; it was time to go home. A nice hot brandy in the Mess would help me recover from the rigours of flying amongst the mountains in my little powered glider. Down we went. The early aviators were in the habit of turning off their motors during a descent but I just cut the throttle to idle and experimented a bit with diving angle and airspeed. The unfamiliar flight model I found quite convincing; I have no idea at all how a real Nieuport 4 handled but this one felt just about perfect, for such an aircraft.
It wasn't long before I was turning onto my final approach...although to the wrong airfield I believe, a deceptively-similar one on a similar mountainside plateau. I must have had my mind firmly set on that brandy!
For a sortie on which I'd missed my opportunity to have my first air fight, I'd actually found the experience surprisingly absorbing. I think I'll try at least one more campaign mission in the Nieuport 4, before moving on to something more warlike. There's just something about the mission which seemed to capture so well the experience of stooging around in an aircraft that is little more than a docile but ungainly powered glider..albeit one with a sting.
...to be continued!