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76.IAP-Blackbird

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About 76.IAP-Blackbird

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  1. @Stratos Thanks man
  2. Looks damn good! Have to check it out! Thanks! You have a link or do I find it on the Mod Forum of DCS?!
  3. Dear Friends, Today we'd like to tell you about the new Great War aircraft that are in development. While transferring them from our classic project Rise of Flight to IL-2 Great Battles, we are fixing problems we found during this work - sometimes there are some asymmetric aerodynamic elements, a wrong object hierarchy, engine overheating/overcooling, and other similar problems. For example, while working on the Airco DH.2 recently, we found problems - it had an invisible "ghost" stabilizer in the physical model, inconsistencies in drag values, and it was also missing its top speed - judging by the reference data, it was missing it by about 15 kph. Well, mistakes happen, and they will be corrected: the DH.2 in FC will have recalculated drag values, corrected handling, and an increased top speed. Soon the beta testers will try it out, and some additional changes may be in order after these tests. Its AI will also be updated as it needs to be taught how to use its blip switch for taxiing (such early flying machines had no throttle and the engine always ran at full power - its pilot had to press and hold a blip switch button that cut the ignition when he wanted to slow down). Another upcoming aircraft, the Sopwith Pup, also had some problems with its flight characteristics and engine, which are currently being corrected. While working on Flying Circus aircraft, we are not only adding new features thanks to the IL-2 Great Battles engine but also fixing old problems whenever we get the chance. The new Flying Circus aircraft pack is scheduled for release this summer.
  4. Dear friends, Today we'd like to inform you about the upcoming update 5.203. In this update, the AQMG (Advanced Quick Mission Generator) mode will be greatly expanded. New mission types will be added: glider towing to the Normandy and Rhineland maps and artillery spotting and balloon defense to the Western Front WWI map. But the most significant addition will be made to the detailed map of Prokhorovka. Tank Crew will now have a completely new mode that wasn't available before - Ground Forces AQM. Just like its aerial counterpart, it will allow you to choose a specific mission type that will affect the composition and positions of your forces: Strongpoint Defense, Enemy Strongpoint Attack, Breakthrough, and Enemy Rear Area Attack. You'll be able to set an initial distance from the enemy (since ground vehicles are very slow compared to aircraft), the strength of your force, the enemy force, and air support. Other changes in this update include the correction of the distance at which nearby aircraft can be heard, further updates to the Lightning Strikes, Havoc over the Kuban, and Hell Hawks over the Bulge campaigns, various minor improvements such as fixes to career progression, taxiing on certain airfields, mission generation, etc. The popular community-created campaigns Kerch-Eltigen Operation and Battle of the Hürtgenwald will be included in the game with the permission of their authors. We also want to start a multiplayer-related competition today: submit your best in-game tracks of multiplayer action! You can show any action, plane, or tank, as long as it is interesting and recorded in multiplayer (if you already have a saved track that you love and it loads in the game, you can submit it as well). Tracks should be short, showing an interesting event and a few seconds before and after. Please submit your tracks by April 12th. Then we'll choose the best ones - their authors will be awarded Collector planes of their choice and we will create a multiplayer promo video using these tracks. Please post the links to your tracks here or in our Discord channel till the end of April 11th.
  5. It is indeed, a nice plane and not so easy to fly. You need to fly it different, cause of the not so potent engine. Like it alot :)
  6. Dear friends, Today we would like to tell you about a new aircraft that our artists have been working on for some time and engineers have recently started to create its FM. The Ta 152 is the last creation of the German aircraft designer Kurt Tank, which managed to take part in combat operations during the Second World War. This aircraft was the culmination of the evolution of the Fw 190 fighter and Germany's most advanced piston fighter. It was in development for a long time, several years, and appeared at the very end of the war. During the development, several modifications of the original Fw 190 were produced, which finally led to the Ta 152 - the name "Fw" was changed to "Ta" in recognition of the designer's merits. Compared to the Fw 190D "Dora", the wingspan was significantly increased for better maneuverability at high altitudes, the fuselage was longer, and the new Jumo-213E engine was equipped with two boost systems: MW-50 (water-methanol mixture injection for low and medium altitudes) and GM-1 (nitrous oxide for high altitudes). The "Dora" engine was already characterized by a high degree of automation and regulation and thus complexity, but here the Germans went even further - the engine was equipped with a two-stage three-speed (!) supercharger. As you can see, these improvements were made for high-altitude combat, where the Ta 152 had to outperform the Mustangs and Spitfires of the Allies - the threat from the bomber armadas climbing higher and higher was growing every year. The plane had a pressurized cockpit and could reach a speed of 750 km/h at an altitude of 12 km, and its ceiling was 14 km! Think about it - a piston fighter that could climb and fight above modern jetliners had no equal. Its armament is also respectable, even by late WWII standards: 30mm MK 108 and two 20mm MG-151/20 cannons allowed it to destroy any air target. The Ta 152 went into production at the end of the war and appeared in the skies of Germany in January-February 1945, but due to the disparity of forces, they had no effect on the course of hostilities: they were produced in very small numbers (about 25 H-1s). They remained in history as a monument to German wartime engineering and design. In our simulator, we expect to release this very interesting aircraft this summer.
  7. Dear friends, Update 5.202 is live. It brings a lot of new content and improvements in different parts of the sim. The Battle of Normandy has been expanded to include 9 aircraft instead of the standard 8: Spitfire Mk.IXc, which we released today. As it was a mainstay of the RAF in early 1944, it is a great addition to the career mode during the Normandy period. This addition is retroactive, so all existing owners of Battle of Normandy will get this new bird for free. The second and last 'long' version of the IAR fighter, I.A.R. 80-B, is also included in this update, which means that IAR-80/81 is officially released. Owners will get two aircraft in the same purchase, the 'short' 80-A and the 'long' 80-B, each with its own set of historical modifications, including fighter/bomber ones, and paint schemes. In this update we also show some love to our older planes - our engineering team has thoroughly checked and improved the FM of several planes thanks to new historical data found by enthusiasts. P-47 critical AoA and maximum wing lift have been increased and made less stable (please be more careful with the flight stick until you get used to it). All Fw 190-A roll rates have been increased. The P-40 received the 1942 engine modification that allowed it to run on emergency power for a longer period thanks to reinforced ball bearings. WW1 aircraft shaking from damage is reduced and visible damage is tuned to better match actual damage. We were also able to add manual fuel gauges to more aircraft: all Il-2s, all Fw 190-A series, all He 111s, Ju 87, and I-16. These FM improvements are even more enjoyable because the control mapping process has been streamlined: not only can you search for an assigned command by pressing a button on your control device or entering the command name, but many new on/off commands have been added to assign them to HOTAS switches - parking brakes, engine superchargers, cockpit open/close, bomb bay doors, air brakes, Ju 87 siren, individual engine propeller feathering, etc. There are also many improvements to mission generation. Flying Circus pilots get their own Advanced Quick Mission Generator on the Western Front WWI map, which was previously only available on WWII maps. There are several improvements to the career mode: the flight altitude over the Western Front during WWII is higher than on the Eastern Front, 12-13,000 feet, and there is a new mission type, Airfield Defense (see other changes below). AI pilots should now generally do a better job of attacking head-on. The historical campaign Lightning Strikes has been heavily reworked and improved, and there are fixes for the Ten Days of Autumn and Steel Birds campaigns. New experimental mission editor features mentioned in our last DD are also in - to enable them, you can add the line full_editor = 1 to the [SYSTEM] part of the data\startup.cfg file. Changes you make to water and forest maps in the editor will be visible in the game in Mods On mode. The landscape change menu will also be accessible, but it's intended for enthusiast teams working on the new maps (a map with a changed landscape will not load in the game in Mods On mode and will cause an error during loading). All in all, we have done our best to include something nice for everyone in this update, and we hope you enjoy it! See you in the skies! 5.202 Changelist The Romanian I.A.R.80/81 fighter is available in both variants (short and long) for all owners of the corresponding Collector Planes kit; British Spitfire Mk.IXc fighter is available for all owners of Battle of Normandy; Advanced Quick Mission mode has been added to the Western Front WWI map for owners of any Flying Circus module; A search by command name and assigned key/axis has been added to the control mapping settings; For easy assignment of HOTAS toggle switches, several cyclic commands are duplicated as separate on/off commands: bomb fuses, bomb bay doors, air brakes, Ju 87 siren, engine superchargers, canopy open/close, all propeller feathering, specific engine propeller feathering, tail wheel lock, and parking brakes; P-47: updated FM, reduced stability margin to better match historical data, increased maximum wing lift and critical angle of attack; P-40: added "Engine V-17190-39 (1942)" modification to reflect improvements in engine design that increased the allowable operating time at emergency modes; Fw-190 A-series: roll rate brought to historical values (increased); Fuel gauge switch control is implemented on all IL-2s, I-16, all Fw 190-A series, all He 111s and Ju-87; Career: the altitude of intercepting and escorting bombers in Rheinland and Normandy careers has been increased to 4000-4500 meters; Corrected the visual display of damage and reduced shaking when WWI airplanes are damaged; IAR 80/81: its unique bomb control system has been improved to better match the historical prototype - in the bomb drop mode the bombs are released by the main trigger (command "fire all guns"); Career: updated Airfield Defense mission; Career: Spitfire Mk.XIV fighters in Rheinland career are equipped with E-wing (two 12.7mm instead of four 7.7mm machine guns); Fixed a problem with AI pilots pulling away from a frontal attack too early; Improved routine for detecting an enemy attacking a group of AI planes from blind spots; Fixed a problem with AI gunners aiming in tanks with coaxial machine guns; Experimental features for editing water and forest maps have been added to the editor: to enable them you can add the line full_editor = 1 to the [SYSTEM] part of the data\startup.cfg file. Water and forest map changes you make in the editor will be visible in the game in Mods On mode. The landscape change menu will be also accessible, but it is intended for enthusiast teams who are working on the new maps (an existing map with an altered landscape won't load in the game in Mods On mode and will result in an error during loading). Career: in the transport escort missions for the Eastern Front career, the front line has been restored; Career: fighter-bombers have been added as targets in the Attack Intercept and Attack Escort missions; Career: Fixed rocket launches in the air without gaining the right altitude in Assault Escort missions; Career: fixed very long attack of a target by attacking aircraft on the runway for Attack Escort missions with start on the runway; Career: for Transport Escort missions for Eastern Front careers, fixed smoke hanging in the air that should be on the ground; Career: redesigned the template for escorting transports that bring cargo to the airfield instead of dropping it on parachute containers, fixed a bug with escorted transports not being able to land; Career: Fixed early scoring of mission success when the plane has not even reached its airfield yet; Career: Fixed takeoff at Malye Chapurniki airfield on Stalingrad map; Career: Added a new engine for AI P-40 fighters in Stalingrad and Kuban careers; Western Front" map: fixed takeoff at Braizieux airfield; Updated "Lightning Strikes" campaign; Added sound for all La and LaGG on the release of the bomb drop button; On La-5F and La-5FN, changed the limitation of camera downward movement when the canopy is open; IAR 80/81: Bomb racks removed from fighter modifications; Fw-190 (all): corrected animation of cockpit canopy opening handle; Ju 88 C-6: fixed a bug displaying one of the bombs in the bomb bay; Several popular multiplayer servers have their icons in the server list (please contact our Community Manager if you want to assign one to your server); Small fixes have been made to the "10 Days of Autumn" and "Steel Birds" campaigns; Improved air behavior of parachute containers and Ar 234 rocket boosters; Fixed a problem with artillery gun crews when repairing them by MCU Command: Damage.
  8. Dear friends, The beta testing of the new update 5.202 continues: IAR-80B and Spitfire IXc are being polished and new career changes are being tested. The new control assignment features are working great. We have some good news about the upcoming Spitfire IXc: this aircraft, which was a mainstay of the RAF in early 1944, will be added to the Battle of Normandy lineup. This means that all Battle of Normandy owners will automatically receive it when the 5.202 update is released. This will make the BoN career mode even better and more realistic. It also means that both Western Front modules, Battle of Normandy and Bodenplatte, will have their own Spitfire IX, which was an iconic British aircraft of the time (there is a Spitfire IXe in the Bodenplatte module). In addition to the new content and improvements in nearly every system of the sim mentioned in our previous DD, 5.202 will bring a neat feature that many of the Mission Editor enthusiasts have been dreaming of - on-the-fly editing of landscape, forest, and water maps that previously could only be edited using 3rd party graphics editing software. This feature, developed by our lead programmer Sergey, makes editing much more intuitive and easy as you can see the effect of your changes in the sim world immediately - you can plant a forest or cut down the trees near the airfield, fill a new river or remove a lake, create a mountain or dig a ravine. Here are some preview screenshots of this feature. The new version should be ready for the release soon, in two weeks
  9. Dear Friends, We are preparing the next update 5.202. It will bring the second, long version of the IAR-80 and the official release of both variants. The fire control system of the IAR has been corrected to reflect its peculiarity - the bombs are released by a firing trigger when the bomb control system is switched on. Another new aircraft we plan to release in this update is the Spitfire IXc, which will be a welcome addition to both the Normandy and Rhineland careers of the Western Front. This version will also feature other improvements across the board - some of them were requested by the community for quite some time and we finally have had the time to do them. Here are some notable points. AI pilots will be more aggressive in frontal attacks and will break off later. Bombers in the Western Front career mode will operate at higher altitudes than on the Eastern Front, 4-4.5 km. A new mission type will be added where you'll have to defend a friendly airfield from an enemy air raid. There are also a number of smaller fixes to various Career mode mission types. Quite a bit of improvements are being added to the input subsystem: most importantly, it will be possible to search for a command assigned to a button by pressing it or moving a control axis or search for a command by its name. To make mapping a HOTAS controller easier, several command bindings were duplicated as separate on/off or open/close pairs: bomb fuses, bomb doors, air brakes, Ju-87 siren, canopy, prop feathering (all, 1st engine, 2nd engine). As you may already know from our Q&A video, our engineers are working on updating the P-47 FM using the newly found data kindly shared by community members - we can't promise it will be ready for this update, but we're trying. The P-40 FM review is also in progress. In other news - our Steam prices now are regional, the price in each region or currency is suggested by Valve (this means that they became lower in most parts of the world, however, due to the currency value changes there are countries where the modules which were released several years ago became a bit more costly or stayed the same). The update 5.202 is planned to be released in the first half of February.
  10. Sukhois

    Hallo Guys, We have polished the Fitters for the past weeks and months. the team is doing an outstanding job on cleaning the 3D models, unify the files, skins and loadouts. All the finetuning that is needed, to make it enjoyable aber all these "Years". Im proud of the fitter team! The finishing is complete, and you are asking why it is not released ... cause we are punshing holes into the planes as a final step So stay tuned for an upcoming release of the early fitter versions, with more in the pipeline.
  11. Dear Friends, The huge update 5.201 is live. It contains three major additions and a number of other fixes and improvements. Flying Circus Vol.III is now officially released and is available on our website and on Steam. Most of the Flying Circus Vol.III aircraft were already available via the Early Access program - the last one is the R.E.8 two-seater, a very versatile aircraft for its time (it began to reach the front in late 1916). It was designed to carry radio and photographic equipment for reconnaissance and artillery spotting, and a small bomb load on underwing racks. For more information on this airplane, please read our Dev Blog#354. In total, Flying Circus Vol.III contains 8 early Great War aircraft: the Albatros D.II, Halberstadt D.II, Nieuport 11.C1, French Nieuport 17.C1, Nieuport 17.C1 adapted for British service, and Hanriot HD.1 fighters, and the R.E.8. and F.E.2b two-seater reconnaissance planes. Updates to the Western Front map to include the entire frontline, many new objects and settlements, and five seasons - Summer, Autumn, late Autumn, Winter, and Spring. The WWI Pilot's Career mode has also been updated - it now starts earlier, in 1916, includes all available WWI era aircraft including FC Vol.III and Collector, takes advantage of the updated map and uses all of its seasons. Please note that the updated map and career mode are also available to owners of any Flying Circus volume (If you don't see the new map seasons immediately, please wait a few hours - they are being assigned to eligible accounts on the server). It is recommended that all FC players start a new WWI career, however we have been able to keep the old FC careers playable - they don't include the new additions and are unsupported, but you should be able to finish an existing WWI career if you wish. Another fascinating addition is a new aircraft type, something we haven't had in the sim before - a player-controlled military glider. In our simulator, the visual model of the CG-4A glider was restored with great care, and our engineers recreated in its new virtual life all the main features of its control and use. It should be noted that this is a new class of objects for our simulator and we have developed a number of technologies to make its realization possible - for example, a flexible towing cable. In addition to the Quick Mission Builder and multiplayer modes, if you have the Normandy and/or Bodenplatte modules, you can fly them in career mode on the Western Front during the major airborne operations - Overlord, Market Garden, and Varsity. The third major addition in this update is the short version of the long-awaited IAR-80/81 Collector Plane (the long version is also included in the purchase and will be made available in early 2024 in January or February). We have covered it extensively in our Dev Blog#355. The I.A.R.80-A fighter series 106-150 is the base model for the short version - it has six 7.92 mm FN Browning machine guns that fire German ammunition. Its flying capabilities were comparable to those of the Yak-1, but later versions of the IAR had more powerful weapons and bombs: I.A.R.80-B series 181-200 has four 7.92 mm machine guns rather than six, as well as two 13.2mm FN Browning machine guns that fire 13.2 mm Hotchkiss rounds. The I.A.R.80-M has two 20 mm MG-151/20 cannons and two 7.92 mm FN Browning machine guns. The I.A.R.81 series 151-175 is equipped with six 7.92 mm FN Browning machine guns and can carry up to three bombs weighing up to 400 kg. The underbelly bomb rack has a distinctive parallelogram mechanism, similar to the Ju 87 dive-bomber, preventing bombs from hitting the propeller during dive bombing. In addition, the Achtung Spitfire! campaign that previously was only available on our website is now released on Steam. 5.201 Changelist The CG-4A Collector Plane has been released; Flying Circus Vol. III has been released - R.E.8 two-seater airplane is added to the sim; Romanian I.A.R.80/81 fighter is available in Early Access (short version, long version will be added in the next update); Added Autumn, Late Autumn/Early Spring, Winter and Summer seasons for the Western Front WWI map (available to either Flying Circus module owners); All Flying Circus Vol.III airplanes have been added to the Pilot's Career mode during WWI timeframe; The accuracy of AI gunners on player-controlled aircraft matches the "Ace" level on AI-controlled aircraft; AI won't turn on the landing light during a daytime approach; A tactical number set by the player is saved; The send message button in multiplayer chat matches the team color; A 100% setting on a control axis should result in 100% value displayed in the technochat instead of 99%; T-34 mod. 1942 and PzKpfW III Ausf. L won't be erroneously listed as part of the Bodenplatte module in the equipment selection menu; Pilot's Career: new options have been added for fine tuning the difficulty level; Assault guns with indirect fire capability (SU-122, SU-152, Stug III Ausf. G, SdKfz 184 Ferdinand) have panoramic sight leveling features to ensure accurate shooting. Ballistic tables added to the Description tab for Stug III Ausf.G and SdKfz 184 Ferdinand ; New training scenarios added for SU-122 (firing at stationary targets and indirect fire); Removed extra aftersounds from the SHKAS machine guns firing sound; Airco DH.4 stabilizer fixed camera position corrected; Pilot protection from the shrapnel corrected on British planes when the canopy is closed; Albatros D.II lower wing aerodynamics data corrected; Li-2 altitude throttle lever function inverted according to its label (forward - poor mixture, reverse - rich); La-5 ser. 8 wing sturdiness corrected; Overlord campaign is updated and translated into French.
  12. Dear Friends, The preparation of the new update continues at full throttle. The CG-4A glider is a challenge as several new features are necessary for its towing, which have never been included in the simulation. The Western Front WWI map and the last aircraft for Flying Circus Vol. III, the R.E.8 two-seater, are almost complete and receiving final touches. A quick heads-up: please note that due to the sheer amount of changes we're making to the Flying Circus Career mode (not only is the map much more populated but new aircraft have been added and its timeframe starts earlier) it will not be compatible with the existing careers using this map. If you currently have an ongoing WWI career, we recommend finishing it before December 19th when we will release the new update. Alternatively, you can wait for the update to start a new career. The long-awaited I.A.R. Collector Plane is also nearing completion. In this case, however, instead of one, there will be two Collector Planes in a single purchase. The long and short variants are quite different, so they are considered distinct aircraft in the game. Each plane comes with its own modifications, paint schemes, flight characteristics, and more. The short version will be available in the December 5.201 update, with the long version following soon before the end of the Winter, likely in January. The first Romanian fighter to be produced in large numbers was made mostly of metal, except for the stabilizer and flaps which were made of a different material. The flaps and landing gear were operated by hydraulic pressure. The I.A.R.80-A fighter series 106-150 will be the base model for the short version. This fighter was equipped with six 7.92 mm FN Browning machine guns that fired German ammunition. Its flying capabilities were comparable to those of the Yak-1, but later versions of the IAR had more powerful weapons and bombs: I.A.R.80-B series 181-200 had four 7.92 mm machine guns rather than six, as well as two 13.2mm FN Browning machine guns that fired 13.2 mm Hotchkiss rounds. The I.A.R.80-M had two 20 mm MG-151/20 cannons and two 7.92 mm FN Browning machine guns. The I.A.R.81 series 151-175 was equipped with six 7.92mm FN Browning machine guns and was designed to carry up to three bombs weighing up to 400 kg. The underbelly bomb rack had a distinctive parallelogram mechanism, similar to the Ju 87 dive-bomber, preventing bombs from hitting the propeller during dive bombing. The aircraft was powered by a twin-row radial 14-cylinder air-cooled engine, the I.A.R.-14K; it was licensed from the French Gnome-Rhone 14K. This engine could produce up to 1000 hp in take-off mode. A less powerful version of this type of engine was also present in the Hs-129 B-2 Collector Plane, a German ground attack aircraft. We have a question for Romanian players or anyone knowledgeable in Romanian aviation during WWII. Do you recall the photo of Squadron Commander Collins's family in the cockpit of our Typhoon? If you have thoughts on what should be the default photos in the IAR cockpit, we'd appreciate your ideas. Maybe a famous pilot's wife or girlfriend? Two photos could be taken during the war years - one for the short IAR and one for the long one. In other news - if you're interested in Tank Crew details, Daniel 'Han' has recorded a short video describing a new feature for more precise artillery fire, bubble levels in the gunsights of the SPGs we have - SU-152, SU-122, Ferdinand and StuG III G. The video turned out to be a bit too realistic, so please make sure video subtitles are turned on since it might be hard to hear his voice over the engine noise and explosions.
  13. Dear Friends, Another update, 5.108, is live. It adds a new airplane to Flying Circus Vol.III Early Access - this time it is a British two-seater F.E.2b - and fixes a number of minor issues. We have covered it in detail in our Dev Blog #352. In short, it was an unusual design compared to the rest of Great War and later aircraft - a pusher two-seater biplane with the gunner positioned in front of the pilot. Later in the war they switched to a night bomber role. Meanwhile, the preparation of the next update has started already - we're planning to release a lot more new content, including three new aircraft! Please stay tuned, we'll tell you about it in our next Dev Blogs. 5.108 Change List F.E.2 two-seater airplane is available in Early Access for all owners of "Flying Circus Vol. III"; La-5 and La-5F oil temperature gauge corrected; Li-2: the clock shows flight time; Nieuport 17 GBR (British): superfluous parts won't appear among the debris; Normandy and Rhineland Career mode: Attack Support and Defense Support missions added; Overlord campaign updated and is now available in Spanish thanks to E69_Cananas; Achtung - Spitfire! campaign updated; La-5 and La-5F: default trimmer positions are set for horizontal flight at 3000m altitude in nominal operation mode; La-5, F, FN: the radius of the damaged propeller was changed so the nose of the aircraft won't "hang" in the air in case of a nose-down incident; Fixed issue that make it possible to keep an installed modification in multiplayer when moving from the mission where it was available to a mission where it is not allowed; Albatros D2, Halberstadt D2: fire and fuel tank leakage effects corrected; U-2VS: bomb sight added.
  14. Dear Friends, The next update, 5.108, is in the works and today we are starting its beta testing. The next version will include further improvements to the career mode - for example, ground support will be added to the Normandy theater for both offensive and defensive missions. There will be other additions if they are ready in time, but one of the highlights of the next version will be the next Flying Circus Vol.III aircraft - the F.E.2b two-seater. The F.E.2 was a biplane with a pusher propeller and a sprung landing gear with a front support wheel to minimize the risk of overturning during a bad landing. The entire trailing edge of the upper center section was hinged along the rear spar and could be lowered to act as a flap-type air brake. The forward cockpit was occupied by the observer gunner, with the pilot sitting behind him at a higher level. The engine was almost completely cowled and drove a two-blade pusher propeller. Interestingly, in February 1915, this type of plane was tested with a brake parachute. This was probably the first time in history that a braking parachute was used on an airplane. A newly designed air brake that had been used on the first F.E.2a was also tested, but the air brake was eventually abandoned. During testing, the performance of the 100 hp Green engine was found to be unsatisfactory, mainly due to its poor power-to-weight ratio, and the machine was modified to be fitted with a new in-line six-cylinder water-cooled Beardmore engine rated at 120 hp. The center section of the upper wing was made in one piece and the air brake was removed. The aircraft with the new engine made its first flight in March 1915, but the first deliveries to the Royal Flying Corps did not begin until May. The first F.E.2b to go to France was flown to the No. 6 Squadron airfield at Abeele by Captain L.A. Strange on May 20, 1915. By September 25th the squadron had four F.E.2b's in its strength. Production of the F.E.2b was undertaken by a number of contractors, but it took some time before the machines were available in sufficient numbers; by the end of 1915, a total of thirty-two had been delivered. The first R.F.C. unit to go to France fully equipped with F.Es was No. 20, which arrived on January 23, 1916. No. 25 Squadron followed on 20 February, No. 23 on 16 March, and No. 22 on April 1st. The F.E.2b was mainly used for the needs of the army: for reconnaissance and for the escort of other aircraft, and it proved to be very worthy in the battles against enemy aircraft. Often grouped with D.H.2 fighters, the F.E.2b fought back against the Fokker monoplanes that dominated the skies at the time. The success of its use in combat was due to the wide sector of fire of the machine guns in the nose of the plane. The plane was also occasionally used to attack ground targets on the front line and in actions on the enemy's rear communications. In the second half of the war, the F.E.2b was widely used as a night bomber; for this purpose, the aircraft were painted black and equipped with night take-off and landing equipment. The performance of the F.E.2b with the 120 hp Beardmore engine was not outstanding and from time to time attempts were made to improve its flight characteristics. At the end of March 1916, a new version of the Beardmore engine with an increased power of 160 hp appeared, and as it was essentially an improved version of the previous model, it could be fitted without the need for major design changes. Between 1915 and 1918, 1,939 F.E.2b aircraft were produced. After the release of the previous update and the new La-5F Collector Plane, some players asked us to provide more details about the changes made to the existing Lavochkin family aircraft. Our Lead Engineer "Gavrick" has personally explained the changes. The La-5 is one of the oldest aircraft in the IL-2 project, it was created during the development of the Battle of Stalingrad 10 years ago and many of the modern approaches and techniques we're using now were just being introduced. The La-5FN was modeled several years later, and while it was built on the basis of the La-5s, certain things were reworked: for example, the effect of engine cowl flaps on aerodynamics was modeled in a different way (but the resulting aerodynamic coefficients remained almost the same). It became obvious that the older La-5 should be reworked to the new technology standards, but we didn't have the time to do it at that time - however, some improvements made to it (the physical models of the constant pressure regulator of the boost manifold and the propeller were made more precise). And finally, recently the new La-5F was created on the basis of the FN. We finally had time to update everything - the airframe aerodynamics modeling of the old La-5 and the La-5 engine modeling with the modern technique used in the La-5F. So what actually changed for the old La-5 characteristics? The lift-drag polar diagram remained mostly the same. Engine power and propeller thrust were corrected - but the resulting speed change remained less than 10 km/h. The aircraft became slightly faster at low altitudes and slightly slower at high altitudes, which is historically more correct than the unmodified model. The effectiveness of the stabilizers and controls also changed slightly, so the handling of the aircraft became "sharper", more like the La-5FN. Therefore, these changes weren't an FM overhaul per se, but rather a list of small corrections and improvements that were necessary to give all three Lavochkin aircraft a common technological base, so that all their differences are caused by design features and not different modeling methods. That's it for today. Please stay tuned for the 5.108 update - it is planned to be released this month!
  15. Dear Friends, Good news today - one of the most experienced campaign designers James =Jaegermeister= Yarbrough has finished his new creation, a brand new campaign called Overlord, just in time for us to try and include it in the update coming out next week. This means that if the testing goes well, the 5.107 update will have something nice for everyone: the La-5F Soviet fighter for Eastern Front scenarios and multiplayer, two additional Flying Circus Vol.III Early Access aircraft, Hanriot HD.1 and Niueport 17 GBR, for the Great War gentlemen, and if you prefer the late WWII Western Front, this excellent historical campaign will be right up your alley. Here's what the author has to say about his latest effort. The 354th Fighter Group, commonly referred to as the "Pioneer Mustang Group," was the first USAAF unit to be equipped with the new P-51B/C Mustang during WWII and to see combat in Europe. They flew long-range escort missions over the English Channel with the 8th Air Force's heavy bombers in the months leading up to D-Day. As final preparations were made for the invasion of Normandy, the 354th Fighter Group was reassigned to the IX Tactical Air Command and committed to direct support of the ground troops going ashore. The 354th flew escort for C-47s dropping paratroopers and towing gliders on D-Day. Your role in this campaign begins as a replacement pilot arriving with the 354th Fighter Group on D-Day and assigned to the 356th “Red Ass” Squadron under the command of Major Richard Turner. In mid-June 1944 the Pioneer Mustangs flew strike missions across the English Channel from ALG Lashenden during the first V-1 rocket attacks on London and were directly in the path of the “Doodlebugs” as they headed towards their intended targets. They moved to ALG-2 at Criqueville in late June where they flew ground attack, search and rescue, fighter-bomber escort, and fighter sweep missions during all the major battles of Operation Overlord. After the Allied breakout at Saint-Lô, the 354th FG was reassigned to the new XIX Tactical Air Command and moved east with Patton’s 3rd US Army through Paris and eventually into Germany. Due to the hectic flight schedule and squadron reorganization, you will move up from wingman to element leader and finish the campaign as a flight leader. This is a historically based campaign depicting real events, however, the number of planes and specific squadrons involved in the missions have been altered slightly, and some event locations have been moved for improved gameplay. We hope you'll enjoy the campaign, new aircraft, career mode additions, and all the other improvements in the upcoming update. It's just around the corner!
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