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DCS Weekend News 1 December 2017

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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

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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.
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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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I don't do beta installs, so it may be a week or two before I can fly this. I wasn't going to buy the early release. But I couldn't resist the idea of flying a Harrier with what will probably be the best possible flight model on a PC. I will never fly it as an attack aircraft, just not my cup of tea. I would have preferred an earlier AV-8A for the challenge of the flight model or the AV-8B+ for the air-to-air radar. But this will still be one hell of a fun aircraft to fly. I will of course use it for air-to-air the same way I fly the AJS-37 Viggen. This will be a great aircraft to enjoy VR flying with the Oculus Rift. VR really works well with helos, so it should be great with VSTOL, too. Lately, I have been trying to rotate frequently between every aircraft (I own them all). The Harrier will probably get a few nights of dedicated flying time before I go back to rotating.

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