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76.IAP-Blackbird

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76.IAP-Blackbird last won the day on December 31 2023

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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. Dear friends, Update 5.106 has been released! It brings three new aircraft, many improvements to the career mode and several historical campaigns, and other changes. In addition, two of the campaigns that were previously only available on our website are now available on Steam. The three new planes are the armed sibling of the C-47, the Lisunov Li-2 Collector Plane, and two new additions to Flying Circus Vol.III Early Access - the German Albatros D.II and the French Nieuport 17 fighter. The Lisunov Li-2 was a Soviet version of the DC-3 built under license. Although it looked similar, it was quite different from the original because it was adapted for Soviet production - all measurements were converted to metric, it had different instruments, cargo doors, landing gear, even the engines. This Soviet C-47 sibling was like a gunship wannabe - in addition to being able to carry bombs, it had turrets AND a forward-firing machine gun. Normally, going the "jack of all trades" route means sacrificing something in each trade, but the USSR needed versatile aircraft. While the Western Allies had plenty of long-range fighters to cover their bombers and unarmed transports during the war and enjoyed air superiority most of the time, the Soviet VVS usually did not have that luxury. The D.II was the first in the pantheon of legendary Albatros fighters. It became the symbol and icon of the fighter plane in the Great War. The rapid mass production of Albatros fighters allowed Germany to maintain air superiority until April 1917. "Bloody April" has become synonymous with the heavy losses of British aircraft in 1917. Its pilots noted the good power of its twin machine guns, good forward and upward visibility, responsive handling, high speed, and impressive rate of climb. The fighter took part in battles all along the Western Front. The Nieuport 17 was intended to be a further development of the Nieuport 11 fighter. Compared to its predecessor, it had a larger wingspan and surface area, a more powerful engine, a Vickers machine gun, and metal aileron control wires. The plane was initially built in several French factories, but licenses were soon purchased by other countries: Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Finland and Japan. Pilots noted its good climb rate and visibility, as well as its excellent maneuverability. The plane's powerful engine and high dive speed exposed the main drawback of the "one and a half wing" design - a weak lower wing due to only one spar. There are two known occasions when pilots made successful landings after losing their lower wings. As you can see from the change list below, there are many improvements to Career Mode that we hope you like. More are on the way! If you prefer to make your purchases on Steam, there are a lot of new things that are being released there today at the same time as the update. Two campaigns that were previously only available on our website have been updated and released there: Ten Days of Autumn and Hell Hawks Over the Bulge. In addition, several new bundles have been released - Steam Bundles allow you to purchase multiple aircraft and campaigns, along with the corresponding modules, at a discounted price. While they are mostly aimed at new players to make it clearer which aircraft or campaign belongs to which module (for example, they all include the Battle of Stalingrad for newcomers), they can also be beneficial for seasoned players - the content you already own on Steam is excluded from the total price, so it may be cheaper to buy a bundle even if you own all but one of its contents. We hope you enjoy the new update and that it will enrich your gaming experience! See you in the skies! Update 5.106 Changelist Soviet Li-2 Collector Plane capable of carrying cargo, paratroopers, bombs, defensive and forward-firing armament, has been released; Albatros D.2 airplane is available in Early Access for all owners of "Flying Circus Vol. III"; Nieuport 17 airplane is available in Early Access for all owners of "Flying Circus Vol. III"; Ten Days of Autumn campaign is updated and is now available on Steam as well (tactical numbers and correct camo, the aircraft quantity in the air is increased by one third, the number of convoys and artillery batteries is doubled, numerous edits to briefings, illustrations redesigned, all missions finalized and retested); Hell Hawks Over the Bulge campaign is updated and is now available on Steam as well (script triggers, aircraft tactical numbers, generic and unique paint schemes for three participating squadrons, faster mission loading); Sky Nomads campaign is updated (slightly reduced the difficulty of the 10th mission and changed the briefing of the 15th mission); Normandy and Rheinland Career mode: new mission type - Intruder; Moscow, Stalingrad, Kuban Career mode: added Artillery Spotting missions for USSR (IL-2 and U-2) and Germany (Bf 109 E, Ju-87); Rheinland Career: added photo reconnaissance missions on Spitfire XIVe; Career: updated free hunt missions, added patrol area marks the map and updated mission score logic; Career: enemy night fighters can be encountered near the front line during night combat patrol missions; Career: fighter cover has been added, enemy free hunters removed from transport missions in all career timeframes; Career: trains appear in combat reconnaissance missions correctly; Stalingrad Career mode: Ju 52 transport mission have fighter escort; Rheinland Career mode: in the transport escort missions during the Market Garden and Varsity operations the transport aircraft have mixed loadouts; Western Front WWI Career: BoSta 13 during the first phase (1917) and SchuSta 27b after 29.09.1917 careers progress correctly; Western Front WWI careers: potential career progression issues to Phase 2 corrected for French Escadrille SPA 26, British squadrons No.1, No.2 AFC, No.11, No.18, No.19, No.20, No.23, No.43, No.46, No.48, No.56, and No.79, and German Jasta Boelcke, Jasta 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 14, 35b, and 40s. Kuban Career mode: fixed German ground attack aircraft not having bombs in escort missions; Career mode: corrected taxiing at Tangmere airfield in Normandy and Bolshaya Rossoshka near Stalingrad (previously the lead aircraft could crash into another planes on the runway); Normandy Career mode for USA and UK: in all escort missions the escort flight comes from the UK side; ShVAK gun internal firing sounds updated; Fuel gauge switch control has been implemented on Ju-88, Bf 110, Me 410, Fw 190D9, A-20, C-47, Li-2, Hurricane and Typhoon aircraft. The switch no longer activates "automatically" from time to time, there is a new command for this (RShift + I by default); Spitfire Mk.V, Spitfire Mk.IX, and P-38 aircraft have the fuel gauge button control implemented (P-38 has a remaining fuel reserve control button). The button is no longer pressed "automatically" from time to time, you have to press and hold the button to operate the fuel gauge (RShift + I by default); Ground spotters correctly give targeting info to AI pilots; Fixed a problem with AI pilots climbing as a flight while carrying a heavy bomb load; Corrected airframe strength of Nieuport 11 and Halberstadt D.II (slightly increased) and Siemens-Schuckert D.IV (slightly decreased); Nieuport 11: RPM indicator now gives correct readings; Nieuport 11: corrected engine thermal model, overcooling tendency is decreased; Nieuport 11, Halberstadt D.II: corrected visual flight stick position and fuel gauge bulb in the cockpit; Hs 129: corrected typos and errors in cockpit textures (Oyster_KAI); Halberstadt D.II and Mosquito F.B. Mk.VI series.2 are visible at long distances (more than 10 km) correctly; Ju 88A-4: lower gunner uniform matches the time of year and timeframe.
  11. Dear Friends, Summer is almost over and many team members are on their way back from vacation. During the year, the IL-2 team has grown at a record pace - 17 talented professionals have joined us. These programmers, artists, and other specialists have now finished their training, settled into the project, and are working full-time on all kinds of neat stuff, both announced and yet to be announced. You may know the only person who left due to family reasons - Kurt, our former Community Manager. (Fortunately, he is doing well and we wish him all the best). Please bear with us - even though it may seem like things are quiet from the outside, there is still a lot of work going on. Of course, all of the team members, old and new, are getting paid for more than just being really nice people. Today we want to show you the screenshots of the new planes that were taken today - they are in beta testing right now. The next two planes in Flying Circus Volume III are already in the air. Meet the legendary Nieuport 17... and Albatros D.II. The Soviet cousin of the C-47, the Li-2, is slowly but surely making its way there as well. This time there is a bit of winter action here. The upcoming 5.106 update will bring even more improvements. There will be new Career Mode missions (including an Intruder mission, a deep strike into enemy territory), updated campaigns, and more. See you in the skies!
  12. Dear Friends, Another update, 5.105, is available now. Today we have released the first two Flying Circus Vol.III aircraft - the Halberstadt D.II and Nieuport 11 early Great War fighters. The emergence of the Nieuport 11 at the front finally put an end to the devastating superiority of the Fokker monoplanes, which for a time had become known as the "Fokker Scourge." During the Battle of Verdun in February 1916, Nieuport 11s inflicted heavy damage on the enemy's air forces, which forced the German High Command to review the tactics of combat aircraft. Many famous aces of WWI (including Georges Guynemer) had their first major successes flying the Bébé. Most of the pilots were impressed by Halberstadt D.II's better performance compared to the older Fokker monoplanes, especially its better climb and speed and very quick, easy, and responsive controls which gave it good maneuverability in the hands of experienced German pilots. Our friends LuftManu and Avimimus have teamed up to prepare interesting videos of these birds that give a nice overview. The release of this update commences the Early Access program for Flying Circus Vol.III - if you consider acquiring it eventually, these new aircraft are only a few mouse clicks away right now. Of course, there are other improvements and fixes in the update change log: 5.105 Halberstadt D.II is available via the Flying Circus Vol. III Early Access program; Nieuport 11 is available via the Flying Circus Vol. III Early Access program; Photo recon missions on the Arado Ar 234 jet are added to Bodenplatte Career mode timeframe (Sonderkommando Sperling); Fw 190 A-3, A-5, A-6, and A-8 external textures and paint schemes improved (Martin =ICDP= Catney); Certain Spitfire Mk.IXe, P-47D-22, and P-47D-28 paint schemes corrected (Martin =ICDP= Catney); Sky Nomads campaign updated: difficulty level is lowered a bit in the first mission, the text is corrected, Spanish and French translations added thanks to enthusiasts E69_Cananas and DN308; Issues with a line drawing order on the map that could result in a wrong-looking mission route on the map have been corrected; Original ShVAK gun sounds are restored due to popular demand - the new sounds will be reworked to better fit in the overall acoustic concept; A couple of bugs in Normandy and Rhineland Career missions that could result in the player flight not traveling to the next waypoint have been found and fixed; Issues in the transport aircraft missions that could prevent them from meeting their escorts have been found and fixed; AI pilots will more efficiently wait for their lagging-behind wingmen and pursue enemy aircraft while being far from the rest of the flight. The work on the next update has already started - according to the plan, it will bring the Li-2 and possibly other new previously announced aircraft. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the new aircraft and, most importantly, the remaining third of the summer days! Make every one of them count. See you in the skies!
  13. Dear Friends, The release of the next update draws closer and we have some new screens to share. Soviet paratroopers are now training in airborne operations using the new Li-2. Their comrades in their winter uniform are preparing and will join them soon. The Halberstadt D.II is in the final testing stage. As with the Nieuport 11, these two will be the first Flying Circus Vol.III aircraft to appear on your computers. Meanwhile, we have started a screenshot event - if you have Battle of Normandy (BTW, while the Summer Sale on Steam has ended, you still have a couple of days of discounts left on our website till July 16th) you can participate. Make a nice screenshot of the Normandy landings and submit it in our special Discord channel or forum thread before Thursday, July 20 at, 1900 UTC. The winner will receive a code for the collector plane of his or her choosing. See you in the skies!
  14. Dear Friends, As the summer goes on, the work continues. One of the collector planes in development, Li-2, is nearing its release. Here are some of the WIP shots we wanted to share with you (no airborne operations shots yet - the paratroopers will learn how to jump from it next week). As you can see, unlike its unarmed C-47 cousin, this one was like a gunship wannabe - it had turrets AND a forward-firing machine gun - who knows when it might come in handy, right?! An armed transport aircraft with paratroopers and cargo inside - how much more versatile can you get? Well, add the bomb-carrying capability to this mix as well and you get a machine that ticks nearly all the boxes you ever wanted. Usually going the 'jack of all trades' route meant sacrificing something in every trade, but the USSR needed versatile aircraft. While the Western Allies during the war had plenty of long-range fighters to cover their bombers and mainly unarmed transport aircraft and had air superiority most of the time, Soviet VVS resources were always not enough. You may notice many other differences to the C-47 - different instruments and cargo doors, for instance. Even the engines were different, being Soviet-built. We hope to release this interesting aircraft later this month or in early August. See you in the skies!
  15. Dear Friends, Today we present to you the 5.104 update. It brings a new campaign and new mission types for Career mode. 5.104 UPDATE The new historical campaign Sky Nomads now is already available on our website and on Steam. It continues the story of the Soviet fighter pilot you may know from the Blazing Steppe campaign. After having fought in the Stalingrad battle in 1942, in 1943 he found himself in a midst of a hectic battle of Kuban - the campaign title reflects a bit the nomad life of the 43rd IAP which had to constantly change airfields and endure several Luftwaffe strikes on its positions. There is more information about the campaign in our Dev Blog #344. New missions in the Career mode are photo reconnaissance, artillery spotting, and the escort of the transport aircraft on airdrop missions. The photo recon missions are now available with the Arado Ar. 234 of Sonderkommando Götz in Normandy (in the next update it will be also added to Spitfire XIVe). Artillery spotting missions are given to RAF squadrons No. 26 and No. 63 in Normandy which had the Spitfire MK.Vb and were specially trained for this task. The transport escort missions happen in the historical timeframes of the Normandy, Market Garden, Bastogne, and Varsity airborne operations - you can them in any Allied fighter squadron. Do your best to keep them safe on their way to the drop zone and back home! There are other changes and fixes in the list as well: 5.104 New historical campaign Sky Nomads (Yak-7b pilot in the battle of Kuban). There is detailed info about it in our Dev Blog #344; New Career mode missions: Photo Recon on jet Arado Ar. 234 in Normandy (Sonderkommando Götz); New Career mode missions: Artillery Spotting on Spitfire Mk.Vb in Normandy (No. 26 and No. 63 Squadrons RAF that were specially trained for this task); New Career mode missions: Transport Aircraft Escort of C-47s on their way to their drop zones during Normandy, Market Garden, Bastogne, and Varsity airborne operations timeframes; Tank campaigns Last Chance and Breaking Point are updated (added tactical numbers to aircraft involved, added new vehicles to some of the engagements); Many award descriptions updated; Ju 87D-3: the additional armor plate now moves together with the canopy as it should; Bf 109 G-6/AS: rockets correctly disappear when jettisoning their containers. WARBRD RACE 2023 WINNERS In other news - we have the winners of the air race finals. They will receive or have received gifts from us and VIRPIL Controls. As you can see, CSW_Tommy454 grabbed the first prizes in both categories - air races are unpredictable and two participants crashed in their Messerschmitts after performing a difficult maneuver! The race stream is available here. Also, if you have participated in the race qualification, don't forget to check your profile on IL-2 website - there is a -50% off promo code applicable to all released content, including the newest ones like Spitfire XIVe, SSW D.IV or Battle of Normandy. JULY CALENDAR Finally, here's an artwork ready to become your desktop wallpaper for next month if you wish (FullHD, 4K). See you in the skies!
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