This week we are showing a Dev. Diary a little early because we have some vacation and Covid-related holiday time that interferes with our normal routine. So, before we take a little time off, here are some quick shots of the German Sd.Kfz. 10/5 Flak 38 in the actual game engine. As you can see the textures are not anywhere near ready, but it is starting to become functional including some of the damage model and the gunsights. Once again, our partners at DigitalForms have done a terrific job on the model.
In the images below you can see how a machine gun from a Soviet armored car shot up my engine and ended my mission. The sights on this German gun are quite different from the Soviet 72-K and maybe it’s a bit more user friendly? You’ll have to be the judge when you try it, but it sure is fun trying to knock down planes with either gun!
Again, the textures are not done and this is just an early Beta example and we wanted to show you that progress is being made. The Sd.Kfz. 10/5 Flak 38 will be ready for action later this summer.
In WWII aircraft news – the P-51B/C is scheduled be the next aircraft released as we work on other things like the V-1 ‘Buzz Bomb’. The P-51B/C will be released late summer; the exact date is unknown at this point, but we’ll have updated pics for you just as soon as we can.
In WWI aircraft news, Ugra Media is hard at work on several FC2 planes and the map, but the closest to release is the Pfalz D.XII. She will be ready for our next update.
Recently, when I collected the USAAF squadron emblems for BON, created once again by our friend Isaac ‘Solidkreate’ Chavira, I was inspired to make another poster. This time for the P-47D-22 with all the USAAF Ninth Air Force squadrons that will be a part of the Battle of Normandy Career. There are quite a few that flew the Razorback during that period.
….. and finally, a shot that you have been waiting a long time to see. A Bf-109 with something new under slung its belly. Functional drop tanks are being worked on for several planes, but it will take time to retrofit the aircraft that need them.
The Sturmovik Team
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.
Announcing flyable C-47 "Pre-Order" and plans for the Li-2, Sopwith Snipe and Siemens-Schuckert D.IV!By 76.IAP-Blackbird
It is our pleasure to announce some new Collector Planes for the IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles series! We are still waist deep in Battle of Normandy and Flying Circus Vol. II development, but we have decided to push on with our partner Ugra Media and bring you a few more iconic and important aircraft! The following planes have long been discussed as possible projects or desired by community members and now we are able to make the commitment to build them. So, without further delay here they are.
- C-47A Skytrain
- Lisouov Li-2 (Soviet version of the DC-3/C-47)
- Sopwith Snipe 7.F1
- Siemens-Schuckert D.IV
First, let’s cover the C-47A. We already have the C-47A as an AI piloted aircraft in Great Battles. Many of you have requested that we make a cockpit for it and make it flyable, so we are. This will give the Americans and British a cargo plane, much like the Ju-52 on the German side. The Ju52 has been a good seller for us and a unique experience for fans of IL-2. We want to do the same with the C-47. The C-47 is the military version of the venerable Douglas DC-3 which first took flight in the 1930’s and served all over the world during WWII and very far beyond. Most notably it was the main troop transport for American and British paratroopers during the invasion of Normandy. As you have seen in an earlier Developer Diary, we have already built some awesome looking U.S. Army paratroopers that will jump from C-47s in BON. We are also making British paratrooper models as well., but they are not ready to be shown yet. The C-47 will provide a great new way to fly for the Allies.
Work on the C-47 cockpit has already begun so we have decided to open Pre-Orders today as is our tradition for new Collector Planes in development. Please show the ‘Gooney Bird” your love! Pre-Order is available in the IL-2 Official Webstore for just $19.99- a 20% discount off MSRP.
Second, let’s talk briefly about the Lisunov Li-2. The Li-2 was a license-built Soviet version of the DC-3/C-47. It served bravely over the Eastern Front with the VVS and was even used as a bomber by the Soviets. Although it is seemingly identical to the C-47 it does have several differences, so extra work is needed to convert our C-47 into an Li-2. Our partners Ugra Media will begin this work once the C-47 cockpit is well in-hand. The Li-2 had different engines and cowlings, different instruments, a different cargo door and other small changes. Some also had a dorsal mounted gun turret for self-defense. The Li-2 will be a welcome addition to our Eastern Front themed titles. We will offer the Li-2 for Pre-Order as soon as work has officially begun in earnest.
The C-47/Li-2 holds a special place for us because it represents cooperation between the old Soviet Union and the USA, which for a team of Russian developers and an American producer is a historical metaphor for our own team.
Next, we will also partner with Ugra Media to create the British-built Sopwith Snipe 7.F1 fighter. The Snipe was a late entrant into the Great War, only coming to front-line service in the Summer of 1918. However, it was a successful aircraft and helped the Entente fight off the of the terrific late-war German designs in the final months and weeks of the war. The Snipe will be the first truly new WWI aircraft we committed to in a long time and this will bring a new combat experience to Flying Circus Volumes II and III. Pre-orders will be available once the Snipe has entered production.
Finally, Ugra Media will build a late-war German fighter as well – that being the Siemens-Schuckert D.IV. Like the Snipe it entered the war late, but was a terrific design and will be a deadly opponent for the Snipe and other Entente fighters. This plane will be a challenge to make as references are tough to come by and we don’t believe any original examples survive today. However, we love a good challenge and plan to make this bird take flight just like all the rest. It’s interesting to see the similarities of the Snipe and SS.DIV designs with their compact bodies which we would image makes them quite maneuverable. When work begins, we will give you a change to pre-order the SS.DIV.
All of these new planes do not have an impact on current development timelines for BON or FC2 and FC3 as we have been planning to make these aircraft for a while. We will work once again with our long-time partner Ugra Media to bring them to life in another team effort, much like we did for the famous U-2VS.
We hope you enjoyed hearing this news and we look forward to bringing these fantastic aircraft to the Great Battles series!
See you in the skies!
The Sturmovik Team and Ugra Media