Wednesday, March 3, 2010

F-35A Beta 1 test Work-in-Progress post

I noticed from the test reports that there is a misunderstanding on how the new HMD should be used. The new HMD does not require the SHIFT+1 superimposition - doing so will be confusing and redundant.
There will be, in the final version, a simple superimposition of some information (e.g. mock weapon status) to give the "feel" of an HMD... but flight data will be fixed in space in front of the A/C. This is also the way it works (afaik) in the real plane - only some tactical and weapons information (and night vision) follow the head movement. The rest is fixed like a HUD - with an exceptionally wide FOV.

Below is a list of issues either known or found in the Beta1 build as released to testers tonight. This list includes only the "accepted" issues - i.e. things that I acknowledge as actual defects (if compared towards the scope of the project).
I will keep this list updated, as reference for me, for the testers and also for anyone interested in the project progress.

Note to testers: no need to rush - I won't have much time until the next weekend. While evaluating the flight model, please keep in mind the fact that the aircraft is loaded with two JDAMs.

UPDATED 16-03-2010

External model:

1) Nose gear door does not close perfectly. STATUS: CLOSED - there was a glitch in the animation sequence, fixed on model build 48.

2) Fuselage/engine nozzle do not merge as they should. STATUS:CLOSED - modified nozzle 3d model on build 49

3) Nose gear - one piece of the old nose gear structure is still visible. STATUS: CLOSED - deleted on model build 49

4) Right Slammer misplaced. STATUS: CLOSED - Fixed on model build 49

5) Visual interference of main wheels into gear doors. STATUS: CLOSED - Fixed on model build 49

6) Pilot reflection on canopy glass is too strong (especially evident with canopy open) - STATUS:CLOSED - minor issue, but enhanced glass transparency so that the effect is less evident on model build 49

7) Uneven brightness of the A/B base textures. STATUS:CLOSED, minor issue but a/b base texture redone.

8) Shiny engine surfaces in A/B area do not look good (depending on lightning). STATUS:CLOSED, shiny attributes removed from engine inner surfaces

9) Asymmetry in the slats position. STATUS:CLOSED. There was a mistake in the animation tags, fixed

10) Slime lights offset from the tail surfaces. STATUS:Closed. Fixed position of the slime light polys - a small gap is still visible under certain conditions (gap is present to avoid clipping issues).

11) Nose gear Y-bone and landing lights are too high. STATUS:Closed. Lowered the 3D objects a little.

12) Missing guiding features from the refuel receptacle. STATUS:CLOSED. Action: redesigned refuel receptacle area - still not 100% accurate, but should be much closer to the real design.

13) Lights position/strobe/white nav light. STATUS:Open. Lights position is being changed. Some unintended reflection on the fuselage is possible due to FSX default effects (evaluating custom light effects). Nav white light missing as I could not identify its actual location. Strobe missing for the same reason.

14) Wing vortices location mismatch. STATUS:CLOSED. Action: Roberto sent a file that fixed this issue. Thanks Roberto.

15) Afterburner effects bleeding through the engine nozzle. STATUS: Open. Action:unclear. This is not usually not due to a model or coding fault, but it is due to two things: 1- Misplacement of .fx graphic effects by FSX (happens to various amount on all systems) 2- User graphics driver setting to "performance" (instead of quality) will create major bleeding. I will rework the effect a little, but bleeding may still appear on some systems, depending on setting and drivers. EDIT: redesign of the .fx system should significantly reduce the bleeding.

16) Afterburner effect does not extend much beyond the nozzle profile. STATUS: Open. Action:Complete redesign of the afterburner effect. Now extends beyond the nozzle with a nice halo - afterburner stages are preserved. A little tweaking may be needed for stage 2 - currently too yellow.

17) Oxygen mask animation sequence incorrect. Oxymask floating in the air from time to time. STATUS:CLOSED. Redone specific animation sequence. Still, not 100% fixed as it would required a skinned (non-rigid) mesh - but should be much better in most cases.

Rejected CR's:

- Enhance detail of the nose probe. Reason for rejection: changes would not be noticed by the majority of the users.

Virtual cockpit:

1) MFD pages may occasionally jam. STATUS: OPEN - after several attempts the situation is much better, but still happens. Action: Not sure if I can completely fix it. User can reset the MFD or reselect the page - and this usually fixes the issue. NOTE: Most users do not experience this or do not feel this as a critical defect. Status turned to yellow.

2) ICAWS mode inop. STATUS: CLOSED - Added ICAWS code to XML gauges

3) Incorrect light switches operation. STATUS: OPEN - Action: modified XML tags associations

4) Miscellaneous mismatches of the FUEL MFD page. STATUS:CLOSED - fixed .XML graphic and text calls had left to right mismatch...

5) A-ICE button inop. STATUS:OPEN. Action: add missing code. It is unclear what the real function should be - in doubt, the switch will activate all the anti-ice systems of the A/C

6) A/P: unnecessary bank control code. STATUS: CLOSED. Removed code completely.

7) A/P: missing VVI control code. STATUS: CLOSED. Reworked A/P layout and added requested feature.

8) A/P: A/T trigger not working. STATUS:OPEN. Action: unclear. I may be missing some essential entry for the A/T... since my FSX planes all suffer from this issue.

9) MFD:Graphic "ghosts" in the ENG and FCS pages (and misc.malfunctions). STATUS: CLOSED. It was a side effect of double gauge calls (implemented to limit the jamming issue). Double calls removed.

10) HUD/HMD: Optimize resolution and color. STATUS: CLOSED. Now it looks as good as it can be :-)

11) HUD/HMD: VTOL icon appears when the HOOK/STOVL button is pressed. STATUS:OPEN. Action: this would be correct for F-35B - should be removed from F-35A .

Flight model:

1) Microoscillations when the plane is still. STATUS:OPEN - due to contact points instability - it was fixed on aprevious build but it is back in the latest. Action: Check contact points / aircraft .cfg

2) Minor yaw instability. STATUS: CLOSED. Action: while there may be some margin for further improvement, latest flight model is much less prone to yaw instability. Thanks Roberto.

3) Turn rate may be too good. STATUS: CLOSED. Action: latest flight model show a less optimistic / more realistic turn rate... still, this is, of course, the best guess we can. Thanks Roberto.

4) Potential minor tweaking needed to aileron / elevators effectiveness (slightly unresposive in some areas of the flight envelope). STATUS: CLOSED. Modified aileron effectiveness.

Color key:
Green - issue solved, or mitigated to the point is acceptable or not perceived by most users.
Yellow -issue open, and could be perceived as product defect by many users. Awaiting action or investigation. Or issue open, mitigated to the best of my knowledge but will still be perceived as defect by users. Or issue open but appears easy to fix.
Red - root cause not identified as of today. Or the problem is beyond my knowledge or impossible or difficult to solve.


Robby said...

Oups, ho dimenticati di rimettere // alle luci bianche... :-)

jake said...

i really cant wate for this to come out do we no a date yeat or a price ?

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

no problem - ho avuto molto da fare questa settimana, e sull'F-35 ho fatto poco o niente. Scusa l'assenza di risposte devo ancora smaltire la mail...

I think the product will be finished in a couple of weeks. Actually the AA-1 model is almost complete (meaning there is always room for improvement - but the last round of tests had good results).

There are still a few minor defects that need to be ironed out... and the F-35 AF-1 and F-35 58th FW still need to be done.

Once the package is complete it will be sent for a last round of tests - just to make sure there is no major mistake in the final package - and will be sent out to distribution (probably SimMarket).

As for the price, it will probably be in the 15 Euros range - which I feel adequate and reasonable.

Robby said...

Non cè problema, ovviamente. Quando avrai tempo di dare un' occhiata alla posta, troverai qualche novità interessante... spero :-)

Robby said...

Per l' imbardata posso fare certamente meglio, senza perdere manovrabilità. Si tratta di capire "quanto" deve essere stabile.
Fammi sapere ;-)