Sunday, November 24, 2019

A-4 Single Seater Beta for P3Dv4.4/v4.5


As per my usual procedure, here is the post meant to collect the feedback from the A-4 Beta Testing. This post is (almost) constantly update with the "accepted" bugs and suggestions, color coded to reflect their status. "Accepted" means that I have understood what the testers reported, I could replicate it (or at least be sure this is not a misinterpretation or an error from the tester) and I have "accepted" it as a item to be addressed.

To apply for the Beta please send and email to indiafoxtecho@gmail.com with:
- SHORT description of your system: just CPU, GPU, RAM
- Exact version of the simulator you are running (A-4 requires at least P3D v4.4)
- If you have Tacpact installed or not
- SHORT description of real and virtual flying experience

SUBJECT OF THE EMAIL SHALL BE "A-4 BETA TESTING"

Precedence will be given to users and testers of the TA-4J as they are more familiar with the plane.

Color code

RED means that it the defect has been categorized as a major issue. This is typically a showstopper (operation of the aicraft is impossible or severely inhibited) and must be addressed before the product release.

YELLOW means that it is definitely an issue for the project, that should be addressed before the product release, but not as critical as a "red" issue

GREEN means that either the issue is very minor (and will not be noticed by most users), or the problem is non-existent (feature reported as bug) or that is was an red or Yellow issue that has been solved

BLUE means suggestions or ideas to improve the product

I am not sure if a flight manual will be available before the Beta is released, most probably not, but here are some peculiar things you need to know before operating the aicraft.

REPORTING BUGS
The preferred way to report bugs is to post a comment on this blog (so that everyone can see it). Otherwise, email messages with "TA-4J Bug Report" as subject are fine.
It is better, before posting, if you check if thebug you have spotted is already in the list below or in the comments.
Bugs or change request are evaluated ASAP and, if confirmed and accepted, added to the list below.

ACCEPTED BUGS AND CHANGE REQUEST LIST

This list was updated on 01/12/2019 23:00AM CEST
The latest Beta version is 1, released on 24/11/2019
Internal Beta (not released) version Beta 2 last built: 05/12

Total lines (excluding suggestions) 16
Current red lines 0
Current yellow lines 10 (of which 0 rejected for various reasons)
Current green lines 11
Current blue lines 0
Progress towards release: 68%

EXTERNAL VISUAL MODEL:
A4P3DEXT01 - Canopy animation missing - FIXED 01/12
A4P3DEXT02 - Smoke pipe exhaust missing from Blue Angels specific model 
A4P3DEXT03 - Remove guns from SuperFox models - FIXED 01/12
A4P3DEXT04 - Tail planes are not perfectly aligned (all models) - FIXED 01/12

VIRTUAL COCKPIT:
A4P3DVC01 - Add missing canopy scratches - ADDED 01/12
A4P3DVC02 - Gunsight collimation mask does not work - FIXED 01/12
A4P3DVC03 - Request to animate the toe brakes
A4P3DVC04 - Point of view too low - FIXED 05/12

FLIGHT MODEL:
A4P3DFMXX - NA

MISCELLANEOUS:
A4P3DMISC01 - Files are not signed for Tacpack multiplayer - SIGNED FILES 05/12
A4P3DMISC02 - Pocket checklist is for the TA-4J, not the A-4E/F...new pocket checklist is needed. - FIXED. Adapted pocket checklist to single seater.
A4P3DMISC03 - Flight manual is for the TA-4J, not the A-4E/F...new manual WIP.
A4P3DMISC04 - Incorrect reference to TA-4 sound folder - FIXED 01/12
A4P3DMISC05 - Guns do not work as intended (check Tacpack code) - FIXED 01/12
A4P3DMISC06 - Inaccurate behavior of SideWinder missiles

A4P3DMISC07 - Sound dll configuration poiting towards the TA-4 folder - FIXED 04/12
A4P3DMISC08 - Israeli A-4 livery did not show as the numbering in aicraft.cfg was incorrect. FIXED 04/12 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

F-35 Lightning II - Update to version 3.65.1 and thoughts


NOTE 1: version 3.65 had a small glitch that prevented correct indication of the CEX Tacan direction in the HUD heading tape in some cases… This has been fixed and the release has been updated to version 3.65.1

NOTE 2: updated to version 3.65.2 to fix incorrect BK-17 squadron assignment

The momentum of the real F-35 program keeps on growing and the plane is achieving a number of milestones around the world. So I decided to release yet another update to my virtual rendition which fixes a couple of bugs and introduces two meaningful repaints, specifically the livery of the No.617 Squadron RAF "the Dambusters" that made history being the first british squadron operating from the deck of the Queen Elizabeth, and VMFA-314 "Black Knights" that is the first USMC squadron flying with the "C" model of the Lightning II.

This is likely to be the last update for the F-35 for Prepar3D v4. I have some ideas to improve the models and I am looking forward to port it to the new Microsoft Flight Simulator… although it is more than likely that many functions, like STOVL flight and XML based MFD/HUDs, will not work in the new Platform (which is also unlikely to support any kind of weapon).
While I am trying to port some of my projects to X-Plane, at the moment I do not plan to convert the F-35 as I do not have the skill to bring it to the same level of functionality of the one done by AoA Simulations.

Anyway here is the change log of this update:

IMPORTANT! THIS UPDATE WILL WORK ONLY WITH P3Dv4.4 and is preconfigured to work with PBR models (so P3Dv4.4 / v4.5)

Version 3.65.1 - 18/11/2019
- Fixed glitch in TACAN direction flag in HUD, causing incorrect indication of the ship direction in some cases
- Fixed version number during MFD startup

Version 3.65 - 17/11/2019
- Added CEX navaids compatibility
- Added VMFA-314 "Black Knights" F-35C livery
- Added no.617 Squadron RAF "Dambusters" F-35B livery
- Fixed glitch in F-35C landing gear door animation on PBR models
- Fixed bug in TACAN to MHz conversion
- Fixed bug that allowed to continue flying in STOVL mode if out of fuel.
  When the engine stops running and the plane is not on the ground, STOVL mode will be deactivated.

SEE VERSION 3.60 FOR INSTALLATION

As usual, the upgrade can be downloaded from the side bar as usual or by clicking HERE.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

TA-4J for Flight Simulator X Beta Test




As promised, and due to the large number of requests, I have created an FSX version of the TA-4 Package (which should work also on P3Dv2 and v3).

With respect to the P3Dv4 version:

- There is no backseat/instructor cockpit

- The 3D materials are "traditional" (as opposed to PBR)

- The radar image is based on the old FSX mapping service (as opposed to P3D "true" radar rendering system)

Apart from some other minor details, pretty much everything else is the same as the P3Dv4 version...including flight model, options and system simulation.

The package will only work with FSX:A, FSX:SE, FSX:Gold...and should work (but it is not tested) with P3Dv1, v2 and v3.

Before releasing the package, a quick Beta test is needed, but it will be limited to few testers.
If you want to apply for the testing, please send me an email with "TA-4J BETA FSX" as subject and specify:

- your CPU, GPU and RAM

- OS

- which version of FSX you are using

Ideally the testers should have flown the P3Dv4 version for a functionality comparison.

Please find below the usual Bugs/Change request list (I expect it to be EXTREMELY short as we solved a lot of bugs in P3Dv4...fingers crossed)...

TA-4J for FSX BUG REPORT AND CHANGE REQUEST LIST

Last updated by Dino on 05/10/2019 at 13:15

FLIGHT MODEL

VISUAL MODEL

VIRTUAL COCKPIT

OTHER








Friday, October 4, 2019

TA-4 Skyhawk for P3Dv4.4 version 1.07 released


The TA-4 package has been updated to version 1.07...here are the full release notes:

CURRENT VERSION: 1.07
VERSION 1.07 - October 3rd 2019
- Fixed issue preventing ground service carts from showing if selected by the menu
- Slightly reworked mirror effects
- Fixed ADI and backup ADI behavior (hopefully)
- Fixed missing 3D screws in rear cockpit
- Added VMAT-102 repaint courtesy of Matt Levi
- Added VF-43 repaint

There is a small mistake in the VF-43 textures, as the high visibility roundels are missing from the wings… updated textures can be downloaded HERE

Monday, September 23, 2019

TA-4J Post Release Change Request Log


Thank you all for you great feedback and for the support to the TA-4J. I have received many suggestions for improvements so here is a a post that serves as collector of the post-release changes requests….

POST RELEASE CHANGE REQUEST LOG
Last updated on 03/10/2019

LATEST VERSION RELEASE: v1.07

GREEN - Fixed and released
BLUE - Fixed but not released
RED - Open, high priority
YELLOW - Open, low priority

PR001 - Bug causing the canopy glass and the copilot compass screws not to move when canopy opens: Fixed, implemented in v1.02
PR002 - Gunsight not occluded by glass geometry: Fixed, implemented in v1.02
PR003 - Bug causing the Radalt "OFF" flag to be always on: Fixed, implemented in v1.02

PR004 - Incorrect copilot suit color for Blue Angels scheme: Fixed, implemented in v1.02
PR005 - Fixed bug allowing non-tacpack users to load fuel on external tanks even if tanks were not fitted: Fixedm implemented in v1.02
PR006 - Fixed visual collision between Bullpup missile and front landing gear stem: Fixed, implemented in v1.02
PR007 - Fixed missing "518" number in flap suface for N512TA livery: Fixed, implemented in v1.02


PR008 - Minor modification to default viewpoint: Fixed, implemented in v1.02

PR009 - Incorrect indication of pitch during inverted flight: Fixed, implemented in v1.05
PR010 - Incorrect behavior of RADALT flag: Fixed, implemented in v1.05

PR011 - In reality MK-82 and MK-82SE bombs were not be carried in the innermost stations of PYL 2 and 4 as the gear door could not open fully, implemented in v1.05
PR012 - Request to add Aero adapters to sidwinder launchers: STATUS - Fixed. Modeled adapters and modfied code. Implemented in v1.05
PR013 - Incorrect loadout assignment to STA1 and STA5: STATUS - Fixed: restriced loadouts on STA1 and 5. Implemented in v1.05
PR014 - MK-82 bomb hung at centerline pylon in certain conditions while operating the configurator in non-Tacpack mode. FIXED, completely rewrote code, implemented in v1.05
PR015 - 300 gal tank fins too narrow. STATUS - FIXED. Redone fin geometry. Textures are a bit stretched...but at this point this is the best I can do. Implemented in v1.05
PR016 - Improper Aero adaper for AGM-12 and AGM-45 - Fixed. Implemented in v1.05
PR017 - Gunsight day and night colors are swapped - FIXED: swapped bmp file names. Implemented in v1.05
PR018 - Gunsight can be powered on even if there is no electrical power. FIXED - Implemented in v1.05

PR019 - Air and electrical doors receptacle doors do not work as intended. FIXED - Implemented in v1.05
PR020 - ADI still does not work as intended, also backup ADI now locked in pitch. Fixed. Implemented in v1.07
PR021 - Electrical power cart blinks and disappears if selected by menu. Fixed: implemented in v1.07

PR022 - Some missing screws in the rear seat model. Fixed: implemented in V1.07
PR023 - Try and improve mirror reflection. STATUS: open. Effect is now slightly better but resolution is poor.

PR024 - VF-43 fixture has missing roundel. Fixed, but not released in full installer: updated texture can be downloaded here.
PR025 - Revise button shortcuts for "ready to start" condition
PR026 - Create new radar controls for future implementation of proper A/S radar

PR027 - IFF Tacpack controls INOP

Sunday, September 15, 2019

TA-4 Skyhawk P3D v4 Release and Paintkit


With thanks to all the people involved in the development, and in particular to Roy Holmes for another great flight model, I glad to announce that the TA-4 Skyhawk/Scooter package is now available for purchase at SimMarket.

As normal for this kind of projects, a couple of minor glitches popped-up after release… no major issues at the moment. I am working to solve this, but I will wait another week before releasing an update - just in case more bugs are identified in the short term.

Also, the paint kit is now available for download here. The TA-4 had some of the best and flashiest liveries ever seen in a miltary jet… and picking the ones to include in the package was not an easy job. Can't wait to see what the community will create!

Aside, an FSX version and a single seater are both in the works...more news soon.

Monday, September 2, 2019

TA-4 Skyhawk for Prepared V4.4+ Flight Manual


Should you be interested in seeing what the TA-4 for Prepar3D v4.4 does (and does not) simulate, HERE is the (tentatively final) flight manual…

Most of the text was taken from an old TA-4F/J manual scanned into a .pdf file… I used an OCR software to extract the text, but there were a number of characters and words misinterpreted by the software (and then English is not my first language) - I got rid of a number of those errors but still there are dozens of them. Corrections and proof-reading are welcome.

Major deviations from real world flight manual are highlighted as "SIMULATION NOTE(s)" - meaning that what follows is valid in the simulation only and may not apply to real life.

Manual can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

Last, the Release Canditate 1 Build is complete - it will be distributed ASAP (unfortunately I am a little busy in these days) - on the good side (basic) implementations of NWS and APC systems were added. The latter is not super-precise, but kinda works - up to you to tell if it actually helps you in Landing on the boat or not