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Hello everybody,

 

While, as you know, we're working on several projects at once, today we'll tell you about our the current main one - Bodenplatte. The most important new tech we're developing for it is the FM improvement to take into account the air compressibility and its influence on the aircraft stability and handling that is noticeable at high speeds. The late war aircraft are a pinnacle of the piston engine technology and they can approach the sonic barrier, especially in a dive. And of course this new tech is paramount for our first jet - Messerschmitt Me.262 'Schwalbe'. You may have wandered will the new tech work for the existing aircraft released before - it certainly will, we always update all aircraft to take advantage of the new tech so they all have the same modeling fidelity.

 

Meanwhile, our artists are working on several 3D models simultaneously (some are nearly complete and the work on others has just begun): Bf 109 K-4, Me 262 A-1, P-47D-28, Fw 190 D-9, Hawker Tempest Mk.V and P-51D-25.

 

We also decided to improve the recently released Fw 190 A-8. It will be able to carry 1000 kg SC 1000 bombs with reduced ring stabilizers and "M8 Panzerblitz 1" HE rockets and you will be able to remove the nose-mounted 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, resulting in four different modifications of this plane:
Fw 190 A-8 (fighter)
Fw 190 A-8 Sturmjäger (better armoured interceptor)
Fw 190 F-8 (attack plane)
Fw 190 G-8 (fighter-bomber)
So, while it may appear we have only one Fw 190 A-8 in the sim, in fact, you'll have 4 different modifications. This is also true for many other aircraft - in one of the coming Dev Blog releases we'll compile the complete list of aircraft including the possible modifications.

 

Since the words are best followed with visuals, today we can show you the WIP screenshots of Messerschmitt Bf 109 K-4 'Kurfürst', Republic P-47D-28 'Thunderbolt' and Focke-Wulf Fw 190 D-9 'Langnasen-Dora':

 

Bf109K_1.thumb.jpg.16a41b085fc0e1d1f12c3074677e4e49.jpgBf109K_2.thumb.jpg.2d2390219e492d00ef49d20d785013cc.jpg

Fw190D_1.thumb.jpg.635569940a575fe7d7c7d9530f5fb2a3.jpgFw190D_2.thumb.jpg.da936d423d3747ed2ab28eb1e1fefed0.jpg

p47_1.thumb.jpg.d43286961a570f203bd063dceaa9dd15.jpgp47_2.thumb.jpg.de0e6728cfecfd652135465313bd3323.jpg

 

Our map designers also have something to show you today. In Dev Blog #193 we presented the early European map prototype. At the moment, th designers are working on the road network and settlements. The total amount of settlements will be around 300 including so many towns we have never modeled on one map before. To be able to finish this work in time while modeling the general layout of the cities and towns the special settlement block designer tool has been created. This is a small teaser, a Western European town made using this approach (this is not a particular historical town, but a test layout):

 

Town_2.thumb.jpg.ca420f2ed9bcbc4c402e1eeaab6c4238.jpg

 

You can discuss the news in this thread
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    • By 76.IAP-Blackbird
      Dear Friends,

      Today is a big day. IL-2 Sturmovik team is glad to report that after almost three years of development Battle of Normandy is out of Early Access and is officially released - 5.001 update is out!

      «You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.» Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.



      The official release also means that in addition to Battle of Normandy Premium Edition in our webstore there’s now Standard Edition without two Collector Planes - German jet bomber Arado Ar 234 and British fighter Spitfire Mk.XIV (they can be bought individually). On Steam the new module and its accompanying Collector Planes will appear in the coming weeks - please stay tuned while we work out the details. As usual, Battle of Normandy owners who have linked IL-2 and Steam accounts can access all the new content in the Steam version already.
       



      These years weren’t easy, but they were very interesting. During the development we have created many new technologies and approaches, did a lot of historical research, implemented new solutions. The last aircraft for Battle of Normandy were released in Early Access in August and today we add the last pieces - the map of the Northern France and Southern England, Pilot Career mode, Quick Mission Builder and Advanced Quick Mission Generator support for the new map.





      We have told about the Career mode and the new map in our recent Dev Blogs, but must point out again that they set the new record in terms of the work involved. New mission types, new airfield types, new airfields appearing on the map after D-Day - bringing their total amount to 100 airfields with historically accurate layouts! New objects created specially for the module - ships, ground vehicles, buildings, coastal defenses, V-1 buzzbombs and their launch positions, dozens of new aircraft paint schemes, etc.




      Battle of Normandy contains 10 player controllable aircraft (8 in the Standard Edition):
      - Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib – British fighter/bomber,
      - North American P-51B-5 Mustang – American long range fighter,
      - Republic P-47D-22 Thunderbolt – American fighter/bomber,
      - Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Late – late version of the German fighter,
      - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Würger - German fighter,
      - De Havilland Mosquito F.B. Mk.VI ser.2 – British twin engine fighter-bomber,
      - Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1 Hornisse – German twin engine fighter-bomber,
      - Junkers Ju 88 C-6 – German twin engine heavy fighter,
      - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIV – British fighter (Collector Plane included in the Premium Edition),
      - Arado Ar 234 B-2 Blitz – German twin engine jet bomber and recon aircraft (Collector Plane included in the Premium Edition).













      Each aircraft includes a slew of historically correct modifications - unlike other games where each modification would be counted as a separate aircraft model, in Great Battles you can freely select and combine them. For instance, Me-410 A-1 mentioned above has modifications that, when selected, make it a whole model lineup:
      1. Me-410 A-1/U2,
      2. Me-410 A-1/U4,
      3. Me-410 B,
      4. Me-410 B-2,
      5. Me-410 B-2/U1,
      6. Me-410 B-2/U2,
      7. Me-410 B-2/U4,
      8. Me-410 B-2/U4 field mod with four MG 151 guns.



      In addition to the all above, update 5.001 contains the results of the big work on the damage model improvements which are of course are applicable to all the modules as usual - as you can see in the long list below, it required many changes in various parts of the sim. The testing and tuning of these changes by beta-testers from the community took a lot of time. We think this is the big step forward for Great Battles series and hope you’ll enjoy it. 

      There are many other fixes and improvements - for instance, the mission loading time has been reduced dramatically, several times less on some PC configurations! The pilot and tank crew AI got better, etc.:

      Main Features
      1. All Battle of Normandy owners have access to Northern France and Southern England map in two variations (before and after the D-Day). As usual, in multiplayer mode the map can be accessed by all Great Battles players.
      2. All Battle of Normandy owners have access to the mid-1944 Career mode (3 countries, 5 phases, 17 frontline states, 225 historical squadrons, 103 of them joinable by the player, many new mission types).
      3. All Battle of Normandy owners have access to QMB and AQMG game modes on the new map for a quick action, also with many new mission types.
      4. Numerous new aircraft paint schemes added, including different invasion stripes for various time periods of 1944.
      5. PzKpfw IV Ausf.H. tank added (AI controlled).
      6. Flakpanzer IV «Möbelwagen» SPAA added (AI controlled).
      7. Gleaves-class destroyer added (AI controlled).
      8. The loading speed of all missions on all Great Battles maps has been improved significantly.

      Damage Model Improvements
      9. Aircraft DM: RHA equivalent of the aircraft skin has been reduced nearly three times to the previous (wrong) values.
      10. Aircraft DM: an issue that made aircraft skin damage too severe for larger bombers and some fighters has been fixed.
      11. Aircraft DM: like the previously released change for larger caliber ammo, now all projectiles in the game loose integrity and stability after penetrating a significant armor thickness which affects their remaining ability to penetrate armor.
      12. Aircraft DM: the relative speed of the target is correctly accounted for projectile penetrations calculations.
      13. Aircraft DM: AP bullets and shells make slightly bigger holes in the airframe and aircraft skin.
      14. Aircraft DM: powerful HE rounds explosions cause more damage to the airframe, aircraft skin and components.
      15. Aircraft DM: small HE bullets cause less damage to aircraft skin.
      16. Aircraft DM: it is now possible to damage radiators and fuel tanks when firing 7.62-7.92 rounds from more than 350 m distance.
      17. Aircraft DM: bullets are less likely to ricochet from aircraft skin at low angles.
      18. Aircraft DM: Bf 109 radiator collision model has been improved (previously its wrong shape could cause most smaller caliber bullets to ricochet when fired directly from behind).
      19. Aircraft DM: the loss of the bullets energy hitting Bf 109 F-4 engine has been corrected.
      20. Aircraft DM: an issue that caused bullets hitting Spitfire Mk.XIV MGs and guns to not lose energy has been fixed.
      21. Aircraft DM: engine fire probability from bullet hits has been somewhat increased for WWI-era piston engines and jet engines.
      22. Aircraft DM: engine fire probability from bullet hits has been reduced for WWII-era piston engines.
      23. Aircraft DM: fuel tank fire probability from bullet hits has been reduced.
      24. Aircraft DM: fuel tank fire and explosion probability from HE ammo hits has been reduced, now it depends on the HE power more.
      25. Aircraft DM: it’s now harder to put out the fires by side-slip movement.
      26. Aircraft DM: the several years old ‘crew health cheat’ (they required four point-blank 7.62 bullets in the torso or two in the head to be killed) has been removed. Now their ability to sustain damage is much more close to reality.
      27. Crew DM: a random error that could cause a death from mild G-loads has been found and fixed, thus improving survivability rate during emergency landings.
      28. Ballistics: ricochet tendency has been reduced somewhat.
      29. Right wing MGs on P-51B can be correctly damaged.
      30. P-51B and D fighters wings (middle-upper parts) can be correctly damaged.

      Me 410 Improvements
      31. Me 410A-1: weapon panel placards corrected for WB 151 and MG 131 modifications.
      32. Me 410A-1: missing rods from bomb doors to the forward window added.
      33. Me 410 A-1: speed and timer gauges in the pilot’s cockpit corrected.
      34. Me 410 A-1: altitude and speed gauges in the gunner’s cockpit corrected.
      35. Me 410 A-1: bomb holders for 250 kg bombs and for SB 1000/410 look corrected.
      36. Me 410 A-1: radiator fenders indicators light up when the cockpit light is turned on.
      37. Me 410 A-1: the rear landing gear state affects air drag.
      38. Me 410 A-1: technochat message warning about the gun overheating restored for the gunner.
      39. Me 410 A-1: now the gunner can use the entire horizontal range of the guns for aiming.
      40. Me-410 A-1: radiators can be correctly damaged by AP projectiles, resulting in coolant leaks.
      41. Me 410A-1 intercept missions added to AQMG game mode.

      Tank Crew Improvements
      42. M4A2, KV-1s, Pz.IV.G, Pz.V.D, Pz.VI.H1 hatches close when the turret blocks them.
      43. The damage of the gun barrels base on Pz.III, Pz.IV and Pz.VI is calculated correctly when it is hit by fragments.
      44. In multiplayer a guest gunner (who connected to someone else tank) won’t constantly hear the turret turning mechanism noise.
      45. In multiplayer a tank owner won’t hear the gun or MG reloading sound when another player connected to his tank to the gunner or MG gunner station.
      46. In multiplayer turning aircraft or tank turrets controlled by another player emit correct turning  sounds.

      AI Improvements
      47. AI controlled bombers keep formation a bit better during climb.
      48. AI pilots will attempt to return to base in the event of an oil or coolant leak.
      49. Me 410 pilots will correctly drop bombs in a deep dive.
      50. Mosquito, Ju 88 C6 and Me 410 pilots will correctly drop underwing bombs.
      51. Twin and 4x guns in AI controlled vehicles won’t judder during aiming.

      Other Improvements
      52. Dropping an 1650 pounds bomb from Handley Page O/400 bomber won’t display an error.
      53. A visual artifact in front of the right engine of Handley Page O/400 bomber has been removed.
      54. An issue that caused guns and MGs to ‘float’ above certain breastwork has been fixed.
      55. ‘No jamming’ difficulty option works correctly for aircraft turrets.
      56. Me 410 is correctly counted in stats.
      57. Visual bomb explosion effects has been corrected for cases when a bomb ricochets and goes off above the ground.
      58. Proximity and CheckZone triggers in missions won’t erroneously count non-spawned and inactive objects.
      59. External camera works correctly after flying beyond the map borders.
      60. An issue that could lower the muzzle speed of an overheated MG before causing additional scattering of the fired bullets has been fixed.
      61. Both P-47 have their idle engine RPM corrected (it was a bit too high potentially causing moving with brakes applied.
       
    • By 76.IAP-Blackbird
      The summer is ending, just like our Battle of Normandy release preparations. Two variations of the Normandy and Southern England map (before and after the invasion) are ready, Career mode is ready, Quick Missions and Advanced Quick Missions are ready - today we're starting the release candidate testing. This time we want to spend more time and resources on the testing and debugging. The beta-testing of the 5.001 update is going for two weeks already and we plan to test the release candidate for two more at least. There's a reason for that - it will include not only the Battle of Normandy, but a number of global improvements as well.



      The main global change is the long promised revision of the aircraft Damage Model. This time we have attempted to make more fundamental changes and not just "adjust the airframe durability to meet player expectations", but reverse-engineer the system in search of potential issues in many of its parts. During this process we have found a number of calculation passes which could be improved or tuned. These changes are already in the beta and beta-testers have responded that the damage received by aircraft in various combat situations looks significantly more adequate and realistic. We understand that this is a touchy subject, so the final changes will be explained in detail in the release notes of the 5.001 update.



      Speaking of the finishing of the new map and Career mode, we want to say that for each new project we have set more and more ambitious goals for ourselves, even if it wasn't clear in the beginning how it would work out and what the final answer to these challenges would be. Once again, many parameters have surpassed their previous records in the series. For instance, the length of the coastline is 990 km on the French coast and 1060 km on the English coast. 490 major cities and towns, not counting the minor ones, were recreated while keeping in mind their overall historical boundaries and main layout features. 100 airfields are waiting for your flight - and not one of them is 'default' or cloned, they all have historical layouts reconstructed using documents and air photos. Moreover, a new set of the airfield surface types was created:

      1. Grass
      2. CON (Concrete)
      3. WC (Wood Chippings) - concrete covered by wood chippings and tar
      4. TAR (Tarmac) - asphalt
      5. ETH (Compressed Earth)
      6. PBS (Prefabricated Bituminous Surface) - canvas saturated with tar
      7. ST (Sommerfeld Track) - steel wire mesh reinforced with steel bars
      8. SMT (Square-Mesh Track) - square mesh
      9. PSP (Pierced Steel Planking) - stamped steel plates.




      As we have mentioned, there are two map variations created - before and after the invasion. Pre-invasion map lacks newly constructed airfields and constructions erected after D-Day on the Normandy shore. Career mode development required detailed information on symbols, tour of duty, bases, armament and assigned tasks for 285 squadrons acting in this project - players can join 102 of them and others are populated by AI pilots. This is another record for the Great Battles series. 9 new mission types were designed for the Normandy Career concentrating on the D-Day events and V-1 intercepts. Pilot's Career in the Battle of Normandy timeframe contains 5 phases and 17 front line states that change along the progression of time. As always, all the scenarios generated in the Career mode are unique even if you fly to the same target again - the generated combat situation will be different, while the weather will correspond to the real weather on that day.



      All in all, we're hoping that Battle of Normandy will be the most significant release in the IL-2 Great Battles series and all of you who have supported us all these years will enjoy another virtual, but to a great extent historically accurate reconstruction of a major air battle, that was created with love and respect to our common history.
    • By 76.IAP-Blackbird
      Dear Pilots and Tankers!

      Today’s DD gives you a glimpse of the gorgeous scenes that are possible with the new Normandy map which is rapidly nearing completion and we give you a sneak peak at the progress on the Churchill Mk.IV exterior and interior.

      Below are some recent screens I’ve taken with each of the aircraft built specifically for Battle of Normandy including the AI piloted B-26. Of course, all of these planes can be flown alongside your own or against in any title in the series. This really is our most detailed and complex map we’ve ever made and pushes our current map technology to its limit. It will provide countless hours of great missions and historical re-enactments of this pivotal battle and theater of the war. We think you’ll like it.


          
          

      Below are some very WIP images of the Churchill Mk.IV tank coming to Great Battles. As you can see the interior is NOT textured completely, but you can tell that our friends at DigitalForms have once again done an amazing modeling job!

         
         

      It’s another very busy summer for us. Stay tuned!

      Enjoy!
    • By 76.IAP-Blackbird
      Update 4.707

      Dear Pilots and Tankers!

      The IL-2 Sturmovik team is nearing the finish line of our Battle of Normandy development cycle. However, after some deliberation, we decided not to make you wait any longer than necessary for the next update and to prepare an interim release for you containing what is already ready. So, today we bring you the final aircraft in the BON hangar – the Me 410 A-1 ‘Hornisse’ and our new Custom Input Profile feature!

      Our Me 410 was built from scratch and became a very challenging model for us to build. Its cockpit and rear facing gunner station is very unique and it took several modelers to finish it. There were many engineering challenges and complex equipment to model. It can appear to the user as an example of clever WWII German engineering or unnecessarily complex WWII German engineering long after the war had shifted against the Luftwaffe. Whatever way it strikes you, our 410 is the most highly detailed model of its kind in any combat flight simulator to date. Our very special team has built a very special bird. It comes loaded with many armament options to create several different sub-variants that you can try in virtual combat. Enjoy!






      In addition to the new aircraft, we have prepared for you a feature that you have been asking us to make for a long time – Custom Input Profiles and Pitch Response Profiles that can be assigned to individual aircraft. We created a video about this new feature for you earlier, but we recommend that you review it again so you can understand how it works. It’s quite simple, but powerful. Like all other features of Il-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles, this new feature will be available to owners of all titles in the series – Normandy, Stalingrad, Moscow, Kuban, Bodenplatte, Flying Circus I/II and Tank Crew.
        The final Normandy release event will take place in the coming weeks as we put the finishing touches on the Normandy map and gameplay modes such as the Pilot Career, QMB and AQMG. We also need to finish our prep work for the V-1 “Buzz Bomb”. At that point we will release it here in the IL-2 Official Webstore and on Steam and remember that shortly thereafter the price will increase to its normal full price. If you haven’t already jumped in, now is a super great time to do so!!! As always, in addition to the main changes, we have made a number of improvements and fixes aimed at improving the quality of your simulation experience. We hope you enjoy.
      Main Features
      1. The German Me 410 twin-engine two-seat fighter-bomber is now available for all players who have pre-ordered Battle of Normandy;
      2. You can now create various Input Profiles and assign them to different planes and tanks;
      3. You can now create pitch axis response profiles and assign them to different aircraft;
      4. New gunners model (as well as navigator in the A-20 and radio operator in the C-47) for American A-20, B-25, and C-47 aircraft crews added;
      5. New bridge destruction visual effects added;
      Armament Changes
      6. Machine guns and automatic cannons on aircraft and player controllable tanks can now misfire when overheated (including the turret guns);
      7. If a loader is killed in a player controllable tank, the player has to press the reloading key after each shot to reload the gun;
      8. The bug that caused too frequent misfires of WWI aircraft weapons has been fixed;
      9. MG81 gun barrel overheat value has been corrected (it overheated too fast);
      10. Restored the techno-chat message about machine gun overheating in aircraft and tank turrets;
      11. The issue where an AP shell could be stopped by one 100mm plate but couldn't be stopped by 50mm+50mm double plates was fixed. Spaced armor plates with total thickness similar to one thick plate now stop AP rounds better than one plate;
      12. An explosion of an APHE projectile inside a detailed tank would correctly damage nearby equipment or crew members (previously it could result in no damage in some cases);
      13. The issue of large bombs damaging only a small part of a dense scene (many objects) has been minimized;
      Arado 234 Changes
      14. The destructive overload value listed in the Ar 234 aircraft datasheet has been corrected;
      15. The effect of Ar 234 flight stability loss at overcritical Mach numbers has been reduced;
      16. Ar 234 cockpit reflections became more pronounced;
      AI changes
      17. AI controlled planes which rotated on the ground because of damaged landing gear are now removed from the simulation after some time (previously such planes could rotate infinitely during takeoff or landing and thus occupy the runway);
      18. AI terrain recognition algorithm has been improved when flying in groups (previously its shortcomings could cause them to crash when flying over a terrain with big altitude differences, like over mountains on the Kuban map);
      19. AI aircraft turret gunners now lean to the machine gun and prepare to fire on the target in advance, before it enters the fire zone;
      20. AI pilots differentiate by altitude while landing on a same airfield;
      21. Due to a bug in the target selection the AI tank gunners operating the guns with a limited fire sector did not fire when they were assigned targets outside their fire sector - this shouldn’t happen again;
      Mission Editor Changes
      22. It is possible to edit countries and coalitions for multiple locations of the same type;
      23. The ability to place outgoing target links from MCU:Complex Trigger has been removed (the necessary links were and still are set only through Events in the Advanced Properties of the Trigger itself, the outgoing target link did not work);
      24. Object links for Land and Take Off commands can be set only for aircraft;
      25. The performance when copying/pasting objects in large missions has been improved;
      26. New Ungroup Recursive command was added for a group of objects, allowing to ungroup all subgroups in it;
      27. The durability of Building, Block, Bridge, and Airfield object types can be reset to default values using the Reset Durability button. There is also a new command in the Tools menu with the self-explanatory name Reset All Durability;
      Multiplayer Changes
      28. When connecting to a Dogfight server, airfields in the lobby appear faster;
      29. Mission script commands in Cooperative game mode work for groups of objects with players;
      Other Changes
      30. Oyster_KAI has improved cockpit detail of P-51B, Mosquito, Bf-110E2/G, Ju-88A4/C6 and He-111H6/H16;
      31. The (fictional) photographers' names appear under photos in newspapers in Career mode;
      32. Landscape parts shouldn’t disappear from view on wide-angle VR HMDs anymore;
      33. Pause button during recorded track playback works correctly;
      34. Me 410 has been added to the Rhineland pilot career mode to II./KG 51 (joinable by player).
       
    • By 76.IAP-Blackbird
      Dear Pilots!

      Today’s Developer Diary is a continuation of last weeks with more pictures of the upcoming ME 410 release, this time of the very cool looking cockpit along with more images of airfields on the Normandy map.

      The ME 410 is the last of the player flyable aircraft from the Normandy plane-set to be released and the cockpit proved to be a challenge to create, especially with its unique defensive armament arrangement and complicated gunner controls. However, our modeling and engineering teams have once again created an amazing combat experience for IL-2 pilots. The ME 410 will enter beta testing very soon and testers can put it through its paces. We’re almost there Hornisse fans!

         
         
         
         

      A fun fact about the Normandy map is that there are 100 airfields total when you combine the airfields in southern England and Normandy regions. These pics are just a few. 

         
         

      Work on the Normandy map, Normandy Career and remaining vehicles and ships continue full throttle as we march to release in the coming weeks.

      And just a reminder that BON still has it’s Early Access discount, but time is getting short. If you have not already purchased it, now is a great time to pull the trigger.

      Enjoy!

      The Sturmovik Team
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