Monday, November 16, 2009
F-35A wip update
While some aviation enthusiasts do not like its shape very much, I have to confess I like it. It looks modern and functional... but then, I have also to confess I liked also the "Fugly Fighter" X-32...
I'm still not happy with the reflections on some areas of the fuselage... some tweaks are needed - probably there is something I should fix in the fuselage normal map.
Refuel receptacle doors opening test - passed! F-35B and F-35C do not have this receptacle, but they feature a retractable probe nearby the canopy.
Weapon bay doors opening test - passed. As shown in this image, the F-35A can carry two AMRAAMs and two 2000lb JDAMS internally. Also, six removable pylons can be mounted for external loads.
Finally I found the time and mood to do some (much needed) progress with the F-35. There are a couple of annoying glitches in the external model which require some ironing, but as you can see in the screenshots above, the external model is done. I have a couple of "spare" animation sequences to be assigned - but I'll be leaving these for the finishing touches. The main priority is the completition of the cockpit, which is far behind the schedule. But, you know, I also have a "real" job and a social life :-)
By the way, I've just seen the first pictures of the real F-35 AF-1 bird (the first "weight optimized" plane)...and I have to say I am slightly disappointed as I expected a flashy painscheme (that I would have added to the package) while the actual plane took off with many areas still in their "native" acid-green primer color - which I'm not sure makes much sense for my FSX model.
Also, I've read that BF-1 (the first VTOL bird) has been transferred to Patuxent River NAS for a series of tests that will culminate in the first vertical landing. Cool stuff.