Thursday, September 10, 2009
A Couple of F-35 Screenshots
Above are two in game screenshots of the F-35A Lighting II project I am working on. As you can see, the external model is almost complete - there is some minor "cleaning" to be done here and there, but it is done. While it is an highly detailed model, the graphics performance is not bad - in fact it is slightly better than the Tomcat. At present, the model depicts the AA-1 development bird, meaning the first "F-35" (and not X-35) even built. At the moment I am writing it is also the only CTOL bird actually flying, as all the other prototypes undergoing flight test are F-35Bs (VTOL). The only major "artistic licence" so far is that the if you open the weapon bays, you can see two AIM-120 and two JDAMs - but all the pictures I've seen so far of the AA-1 were showing mock ordnance.
The design of the real AA-1 has been subject to major weight-saving oriented improvements, so that the AF-1 and following CTOL prototypes will have a number of design changes. While, at present, AF-1 has been "rolled out" several months ago there are not many pictures of it on the internet, but its first flight should not be too distant... so that more information will be available - the plan being, of course, add the AF-1 to the package (or a "production" model). A third model would be a production model with external loads (there are pictures of a BF bird on the gorund with a pretty impressive loadout).
At present, my project will be focused on the F-35A - and my current target is complete the AA-1 model. While the F-35B (VTOL) is an extremely interesting machine, I am not currently working on it - mainly because IRIS is working on such model and because I prefer quality to quantity - considering I am a one-man team it is mandatory to keep the size of the project reasonable.
While it may not be evident at first sight, the F-35B fuselage is much different from the F-35A.Nose, wings and tails are almost identical - but almost everything else is different.
On the opposite, the CATOBAR F-35C fuselage geometry is close to the F-35A (main differences being the modifications to the nose gear, refuel probe and tail hook) but the wing is completely different: it is much bigger, and has a folding mechanism and spoilers.
So, making the -B and -C models starting from what I have would be surely doable - but it would require some major redesign of several areas so, for the moment, I am sticking to the F-35A - and I will do my best to achieve a good quality level on that before making any further step.