Today we’re releasing another update, 4.602, that brings to you two new aircraft at once. British Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib is the first and it is available in Battle of Normandy Early Access now - this powerful, fast and heavily armed machine could handle a variety of combat missions. New tactical numbers and dynamic impact marks technologies already work for it and it has a wide array of modifications - another engine, propeller, gunsight, additional armor and dust filter.
The second star of the day is the late Great War German monoplane Fokker D.VIII, which also supports the new tactical numbers and hit marks technologies. Having the same engine as Fokker Dr.I triplane, but a much better aerodynamical profile, resulted in a significant boost in combat characteristics. The only wing of this airplane had an unusual design for its time - it had load-carrying skin made of plywood instead of fabric. Being a late war plane, Fokker D.VIII could be equipped with Oigee collimator gunsight and was armed with two 7.92 mm LMG 08/15 Spandau. It is now available to all owners of Flying Circus Vol.II.
Moreover, there are 20 new AI-controlled objects added in this update - they were developed for the Battle of Normandy. They are British in origin mostly, but there are additions for the US and Germany as well. Some of them are new types in our project - radars and reinforced concrete bunkers.
In addition to all that, 4.602 addresses a lot of things - many graphical and audio effects are improved, there are several fixes for aircraft and ground vehicles AI, a significant improvement in ballistics, etc. The detailed change list follows:
1. Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib fighter-bomber is now available to all owners of the Battle for Normandy;
2. Fokker D.VIII monoplane is now available to all owners of the Flying Circus Vol.II;
3. American paratroopers have been added to the project and can be dropped from C-47. The corresponding missions will be added to the Career mode later;
4. New graphical effects for various armor-piercing shell and bullet impacts added;
5. Improved graphical effects of burning ground vehicles and balloons added;
6. Fixed “jaggedness” of some shadow edges in cockpits;
7. Restored canopy glass sun effects;
8. Single AI plane takeoff fixed (in some cases the takeoff run was delayed for too much);
9. Aircraft AI bug fixed which could cause it to ignore points of the airfield taxiway;
10. Fixed visibility of P-51D-15, P-38J-15, Ju-52, He-111H-6, B-25D, Il-2-42 and Il-2-43 at distances over 1 km (they appeared smaller relative to other aircraft);
11. P-51D-15 weapons and chassis can be damaged by collisions;
12. Missing luminescent illumination on the watch bezel in Bf 109 K-4 cockpit added;
13. Pe-2 series 35 propellers won’t visibly disappear at medium distances;
14. Hurricane landing lights won’t visibly disappear at medium distances, creating holes in their niches;
15. Bristol Fighter's Lewis machine gun casings ejection location has been corrected;
Player controllable vehicles changes
16. Pz.VI commander cupola wall armor thickness has been corrected (it was doubled before);
17. 72-K AAA: an incorrect operation of the automatic gunsight kinematics at intermediate elevation angles has been corrected (with zero corrections the sight axis appeared much higher than the barrel axis);
18. 72-K AAA: technochat messages will correctly appear in multiplayer for other players that joined its crew;
Career mode changes
19. The player can join new squadrons: 587 BAP in Stalingrad and Kuban careers and 46 GNBAP in Kuban career;
20. New targets for "Railway junction air strike" and "Railway junction bombing strike" mission types added in Rhineland career (Bodenplatte): Antwerp, Liege, Mainz, Frankfurt, Bonn, Cologne, Duisburg, Bruxelles, Charleroi, Dusseldorf, Munster, Koblenz, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Nijmegen, Essen, Enschede, Hengelo and Osnabruck railyards;
21. Typhoon Mk.Ib added to Rhineland Career mode: No. 175 Squadron RAF, No. 197 Squadron RAF, No. 247 (China British) Squadron RAF, No. 440 Squadron RCAF, No. 609 (West Riding) Squadron RAF and 16 more AI squadrons;
22. Formerly AI-only 587th BAP in Stalingrad Career can be joined by the player;
23. Formerly AI-only 587th BAP and 46th GNBAP in Kuban Career can be joined by the player;
AI-controlled objects changes
24. Simple AI ground vehicles correctly leave trails on unpaved airfields;
25. Simple AI wheeled vehicles correctly collide with static objects;
26. Simple AI tracked vehicles won’t make too sharp turns;
27. Sd.Kfz 251 1C half-track correctly leaves a trail;
28. The antenna of the airfield locator beacon now always stands vertically, regardless of the surface slope;
29. 10.5 cm Flak 38/39 anti-aircraft gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
30. QF 3.7-inch AA anti-aircraft gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
31. 40 mm Bofors L60 rapid-fire anti-aircraft gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
32. 3,7 cm FlaK 43 rapid-fire anti-aircraft gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
33. Ordnance QF 17-pounder anti-tank gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
34. BL 5.5-inch gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
35. Bren Mk.I machine gun in two variations (for firing at ground and air targets) has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
36. AMES Type 7 mobile radar station has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
37. SCR-584 mobile radar station has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
38. FuSE-65 Würzburg-Riese stationary radar station has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
39. British 150 cm anti-aircraft searchlight has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
40. M1-VLA low-altitude balloon has been added for the Battle of Normandy (for now it can’t be bind to a ship);
41. M3A1 half-track has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
42. Sd.Kfz. 222 armored car has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
43. Dodge WC-54 ambulance has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
44. Austin K2 / Y ambulance has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
45. H 634 machine-gun pillbox has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
46. H 630 concrete machine-gun pillbox has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
47. H 272 concrete gun pillbox has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
48. Batterie Todt concrete heavy artillery bunker has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
49. Enemy aircraft that appear in AAA QMB during winter should have a corresponding winter skin;
50. Missing preview images added for various objects in the mission editor;
51. Ballistics of bullets, shells, bombs and rockets now take into account the decrease of the air density with altitude;
52. Heavy anti-aircraft artillery ballistics were corrected;
53. Heavy artillery ballistics were corrected (at large distances the flight time and the height of the projectile trajectory correspond to the barrel elevation angle quite accurately);
54. In multiplayer, the jittery turning animation of gunners was corrected.
So, here is the new year 2021! Like anyone else, we're going to hope that it will be better than the previous one. However, for IL-2 Great Battles, the last year was quite positive in spite of all complications. We hope that we'll build on this success this year - the plans are quite extensive. Let's start with the first in-game shots of the British fighter Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib which is being developed for the Battle of Normandy. As you can see, it looks nearly complete, but in fact, there is still a lot to do - a hefty chunk of work is left on its cockpit instruments and the flight model. Nevertheless, we're expecting to finish everything before the end of this Spring and release it to all Battle of Normandy customers.
Speaking of the Normandy map, the layout of the towns on its continental part is complete for the first iteration. A bunch of landmark buildings and a significant part of AI-controlled ground vehicles planned for Normandy are already done. We're researching the data for the Normandy Career mode.
Meanwhile, the AAA trucks are also showing good progress - the GAZ-MM with the 72-K gun will be ready first. Its chassis is ready both in terms of the 3D and physical models while the crew animations and audio are being worked on. We've managed to find the authentic firing tables prepared by the Main Artillery Directorate of the Red Army and printed by the military publishing house of the People's Commissariat of Defense of the Soviet Union in 1943 and made the ballistics of the 25mm rounds and their armor penetration ability in various cases as close to the real thing as possible according to this data. We still have to research and recreate the really complicated correction system for the gunsights, that's what we're working on now while our partners at Digital Forms are creating the complex 3D model of the AAA gun itself as you can see on the screens below:
Another year is ending. This one was tougher than usual, but the team has managed to do without losses and meet all the planned goals nevertheless. The work on Normandy is going well and soon we'll be able to show you the screenshots of the unique buildings and ground vehicles being developed especially for it. It will be a while before new aircraft are released because several of them are at the same stage of development at the moment, but in Spring we plan to release a number of player controllable content we're preparing right now. This, however, doesn't mean we won't release anything new till that moment - as you know, we're constantly improving the project in all its aspects and we plan to release some of the improvements sooner, in big updates before that.
One of these improvements is 4K texturing for I-16 fighter created by Martin =ICDP=Catney. In addition to this, we're always glad to have more people improving the project and one can spot a result of the new collaboration on these screenshots. We won't disclose all the details of the coming surprise right now but we're sure you won't be disappointed.
The player controllable self-propelled AA guns saw good progress lately. A new system of visualizing the tires, not less interesting than the one previously developed for tracks, is in the sim already and we'll show it to you soon. The model of wheeled and half-track propulsion is also ready and gets the final touches. In the meantime, our partners at Digital Forms made significant progress working on the second object of this pair - German Sd. Kfz. 10 half-track with 2cm Flak 38. We already can show you the WIP screenshots of it along with a Luftwaffe soldier in Winter uniform:
To finish today's Dev Blog we want to show you the progress that was made on the fascinating bird, one of the planes that are in development for Battle of Normandy - Typhoon Mk.Ib. This legendary aircraft is planned to be released in late Spring 2021, it will be the third one of the Normandy planes that are planned to be released before the Summer. This concludes the last Dev Blog of this year, see you in 2021! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Many of you ask us how is the development of the recently announced mobile AAA is going. The physical model of a wheeled vehicle is nearly complete while the visual model of the Soviet GAZ-MM with 72-K AA gun being developed by our partners at Digital Forms has made good progress. You can see the attention to detail on these screenshots, it's really a labor of love:
You may wonder how fast the German half-track chassis can be developed since it is partly wheeled and partly tracked, but in our engine, the player controllable vehicles have a sophisticated module structure where a combination of various propulsion types is possible. We plan to start the implementation of the German AAA half truck soon. On the other hand, the AA gunsights are a new thing, but we hope to make them as functional as Tank Crew artillery sights.
Meanwhile, we're working on updating all the existing aircraft in the sim with the new visual models of the crew. All the fighters were given the new pilot models where it was possible to do in a universal way previously, and now we're adding the new models to the planes where unique adjustments are required. In the coming update, you'll get the new pilot model for P-39L-1. More detailed pilot appearance aside, this also means that an American or British pilot will be displayed if a P-39 is set to one of the countries in the mission file. Also, our friend Martin =ICDP= Catney have created an additional RAF skin for this airplane.
Another of the many questions we got recently after showing the video of the new terrain effect on the vehicles, is how the new detailed terrain roughness will affect the aircraft outside the prepared airfields when making an emergency landing for instance or taking off from a field (which is an even more difficult task naturally). We think the best answer would be another short video:
The Sturmovik Team
Less than two weeks (wink-wink) have passed since the previous update and we just released another - 4.503. It doesn't contain so many changes, but it adds a new aircraft to the Battle of Normandy Early Access - Bf 109 G-6 late. With the MW-50 injection system engaged, it was a formidable machine capable of confronting the Allied fighters of that time. Normandy map and Battle of Normandy Career are still in development according to the development plan, but you can already use the new addition in the Rheinland career - we've added it to the five groups that have been using this Bf 109 during the Rheinland career timeframe historically.
Also in this update, 4K external texturing for the German heavy fighter Bf 110 G-2 (Battle of Kuban) is added. As with other updated planes, this change is a big visual improvement. There are several improvements for Tank Crew as well in anticipation of its official release. The full changelist follows:
1. German fighter Bf 109 G-6 Late is available for Battle of Normandy owners;
2. Bf 109 G-6 Late added to the following Rheinland Career mode (Battle of Bodenplatte) groups the player can join: I./JG 3, II./JG 11, III./JG 26, III./JG 27 and II./JG 77. It is also used by AI-controlled groups III./JG 1, III./JG 4, III./JG 53, I./JG 76 and III./JG 300;
3. German heavy fighter Bf 110 G-2 has 4K quality external textures created by Martin =ICDP= Catney;
4. Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M player controllable tank now has a lower armor plate under the rear overhang modeled;
5. All player controllable tanks now have bulkheads (made of regular steel) between the fighting and the engine compartments;
6. M4A2 tank commander animation corrected (due to an error he could be wounded by enemy MG fire when inside the tank);
7. AI-controlled ground vehicle tracks are resistant to combat damage similarly to player controllable vehicle tracks
8. Combat damage resistance has been corrected for several player controllable tank tracks;
9. The maximum speeds of the simple AI-controlled tanks now correspond to the detailed ones;
10. Tracked and wheeled vehicles move up the hills faster and more realistically;
11. Recently released Tank Coop missions were improved;
12. Tank gunner AI prefers APHE ammo when it estimates that the target armor can be penetrated with different ammo types at the current relative position;
13. Tank driver AI has been improved, resulting in less jerking while driving backward;
14. Oxygen mask breathing sound has been toned down a bit;
15. Bf 109 G-2, G-4, G-6, G-14 and K-4 wheels texturing has been improved;
16. Hurricane Mk.II compass now has fluorescent needles;
17. A rare issue with generating a new day in the Career mode has been addressed.