Saturday, May 22, 2010

F-35 Lightining II - Beta 2

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IMPORTANT! TESTERS PLEASE READ!
I've just realized that there may be a mistake in the folder structure of
the Beta 2 zip file, so it may not be installed correctly. You should move the F-35 folder in the FSX SimObject/Airplanes manually. If the installation is correct you should find three aircraft variants (AA-1, AF-01 and an unpainted one) - if you see only AA-1 then it is not correct.
My apologies for the inconvenience.
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NOTE: Beta 2 has been distributed only to testers - unfortunately, the email has not reached all of the intended recipients for various reasons (including mistakes from my side). No one from the Beta team has been "banned" or intentionally left out. Unfortunately I cannot access my home email right now, nor I can fix this until my new home is connected to the internet. My apologies for any inconvenience.

UPDATE: My home computer is now operational (and with a new monitor and dedicated Raid 0 disks for FSX). Still, no internet connection at home. BTW, with a clean FSX install on Windows 7 64 bit, I experience a huge performance increase in DX10. Will write a post about that - I think my Nvidia GTX295 works much better under Win7/DX10 (compared to XP 32bit). Also, no blurries - but I guess this is more due to the Raid 0. With the same settings, DX9 is much slower (like 10-15 fps) and shows major stutters.

Unfortunatley I could not complete the RC1 version of the F-35 Lightining II project for FSX on time. As I am moving into a new home in these days I will have no time to work on it nor I will have home internet connection for a while.So, instead of the RC1, I've packed a Beta 2 release. It is not yet complete, but what is in there should be good enough for public release.

The main missing features are:
  • HMD 2D superimposed panel
  • Operational F-35 model (i.e without nose probe and with proper EOTS)
  • Model with external loads

As I will not have access to home email for a while please report EXCLUSIVELY through comments to this post.

From now on, Beta testers are authorized to discuss and comment the project publicly and post pictures (or videos) on the internet - provided that a link is given in as comment to this post.

I will resume the project and release it as soon as possible.

UPDATE - After a long struggle to make the SDK work under Win7 64bit, my home computer is operational once again (with a new monitor, a clean install of OS,FSX and SDk on new RAID hard disk). Still, no internet connection until June 3rd...

EXTERNAL MODEL:

  1. JDAM pokes through weapon bay door (very small - visible only in full HD). Action: review the visual model. Status:CLOSED. Closer inspection reveals that it was a mistake in the UVW placement. Fixed on model build 59.
  2. White flash on AF-01 tail shows a small blue stripe. Action: review the texture. Status: closed - texture modified.
  3. Afterburner effects look different on DX10 preview. Action: unclear, may be it is difficult to solve without a complete redo of the effect - if so, EDIT/1: I've double checked the code and it is correct. Seems that the DX10 preview has some issues showing some special effects, at least on my machine. I will investigate other solutions, but I would not like too much modifying the existing .fx as they seem to work fine. EDIT/2: after some investigation, it looks like it depends from videocard/FSX settings - setting a limited frame rate seems to fix the issue sometimes. Basically, seems that FSX in DX10, on my system, "cuts" some special effects in order to keep the framerate high. Status:closed - no action.
  4. AF-02 Weapon Test Vehicle texture missing. Action: create the new repaint (should not be too difficult). Status:open
  5. "Mighty Gorillas" texture set and external model missing. Action: model is almost ready; create the new repaint. Status:open
  6. "Thunderbirds" texture set missing. Action: this paint scheme is technically challenging due to the texture placement; final decision pending. Status:open
  7. Jaggy shading in places. This is sue to the poly count optimization algorith I've used. This was not much visible on my previous monitor, but the new one is less forgiving, Action: improve geometry by adding polygons locally. Status: closed. Added polys in several areas.
  8. Color mismatch between side and bottom fuselage textures. Action: improve color match/blending. Status: closed (textures blend modified).
  9. Engine/fuselage interface of AF-1 model shows incorrect shading in DX10. Action: validate mesh. Status: closed (turning model into "editable mesh" fixed the issue)
  10. Remove auxiliary air intake from the upper surfaces of AF-01 and subsequent models. Action: modify the specific 3d model. Status: closed.

VIRTUAL COCKPIT:

  1. HUD shows an halo in DX10. Action:review material propriety/disable bloom if enabled. EDIT: materials seem correct. Halo seems to be an artifact from the DX10 preview bloom algorithm. I am unsure to modify it as it looks good in DX9. Status:open
  2. MFD cover when the plane is parked was planned, and texture were made, but is not modeled yet. Action: evaluate implementation. Status: open
  3. A/T switch inop. Action: the switch is actually an A/T arm. Enable the entry in the aicraft.cfg. Status:open
  4. A/P switch inop. Action: check associated .XML code (seems to work on my machine) Status:open
  5. Request to increase the angle of the fpm on the Virtual HUD. Action: unclear. Only track-ir /freetrack users would benefit from that - for the others, seeing the fpm disappear beyond the MFD may be less desireable. Final decision pending. Status:open
  6. Mouse areas inop/misplaced. Action: awaiting to collect full list. Status:open.
  7. Minor visual interference between some details in the ejection seat area. Action: fixed in VC model 28. Status:closed.
  8. Seat cushion texture misplaced. Action:review UVW placement. Status:open

FLIGHT MODEL:

  • no issues reported so far

MISCELLANEOUS / DOCUMENTATION:

  • Product and flight manual missing
  • Checklists missing
  • Prepare documentation for e-commerce distributors.

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.

20 comments:

Lars Domen said...

Wonderful work Dino, congratz!

2 things to note though: AP master switch (CMD switch) inop,
A/T switch inop.
That's all I could find until now!

Good luck moving!

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Thanks Lars,

A/T switch is indeed a Auto Throttle Arm, and it is my mistake - I forgot to enable it in the configuartion file

A/P master is another story - I think you have already reported that in the past...still, it seems to work on my system.

@ All
Please report comments/suggestions ONLY through the website. I still have no internet connection in my new home - and will not have access to my home email until june.
I can access the blog at my workplace, though.

Anonymous said...

how can i get the F-35 beta 2?

neutrino said...

Dino, I didn't get the beta 2 - did I get banned from the test list :)

SpazSinbad said...

Please do not ban 'neutrino'! :-) A very good PDF [very worthwhile content] about JSF development to commemmorate first flight was released: http://www.zshare.net/download/765117503fa3c3df/ (53Mb)

Anonymous said...

hey i was just wondering how to sign up to become a tester i have millions of flight hours and would love to help my Email is Coltoncard@cox.net

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

@ Neutrino

Sorry - I just realized I made another mistake and included only the "testers" list as recipients, while you are in the "contributors" list.

I will try to fix this, but I am not sure when I can send you the files my home computer is not yet ready and I have no access to personal files from the office - the only thing I can access from my workplace is the blog :-( ...

My apologies will fix that asap.

neutrino said...

OK, Dino, thanks :)

Roberto said...

missed radio page.
some misplaced click-zone on MFD.
Some news tomorrow :-)

Robby

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

@Robby

Radio page was removed intentionally. I could not stand the fact it was completely fictional - I've moved (some of) the radio controls on the upper part of the MFD.

neutrino said...

Dino, I replied in an email about the FPM (velocity vector) visibility limits. In short, increasing the limit will benefit TrackIR users, but for the rest the FPM will disappear below the front panel instead of stopping there and flashing (a condition known as 'limited HUD'). I also like the flight model - I can comfortably land at 150 kts with a normal AOA of 10 degrees :)

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

@ Neutrino

thanks for the reply on the FPM. I understand your poiny and will think about that.

As for the flight model, credit goes to Roberto - the improvements he did are working very well.

neutrino said...

Yep, nice work Roberto - it flies like a butter, I can let go of the joystick and throttle 2 miles from a runway and it will practically land itself :) I also like that it requires almost no need to re-trim through the whole flight envelope, similar to a fly-by-wire aircraft!

Robby said...

Thanks Neutrino,
that was my target:-)but not perfect yet.
Some other minor tweaks on file.air
and will be done.

For the HUD: In my opinion, moving the point of view a bit up and forward, and increasing the FPM limit (about -13.5°), will benefit all users.
F16 is limited at 13° AoA
F35 seems to be better for body-shape and visual down-angle (-35°).

Just my opinion

Robby

neutrino said...

Hi Roberto, I just sent an email to Dino with an updated HUD that allow the FPM to drift down to 12.1 degrees before it becomes limited. This requires just a small raise in the eye height as you suggested to 3.92. I think this is acceptable, but it's up to Dino. The virtual cockpit eye height must be close to where the external one is to keep things realistic IMHO. I understand that ideally we could increase the FPM limits even more, but in the FSX we don't have the benefits of a real life pilot who can simply peek over (unless we use TrackIR).

Robby said...

That's good
Increased FPM range can also help approaching runway with turbolence (i'm a TrackIR user).
Waiting for the boss :-)

And, of course, congrats for all your amazing job on the hud. I love it!

Robby

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

@ Robby and Neutrino

First, thank you both for the outstanding contibution to the project. The HUD looks great and the improved dynamics work very well.

As for the FPM, I think the solution proposed by Neutrino is a good compromise.

@ All the future customers

While this project is (almost) a one man band, it would not have been the same without the contribution of Roberto (who provided a major improvement to the flight dynamics) and Neutrino (who provided a custom -and accuarate- virtual-HUD). Both have provided their contibutions for free - this, of course, will help me in keeping the product price low.
In truth, I don't like too much the idea of asking for money for the F-35: for me, FSX is an hobby and not a job. But it is the only way for me to recover the development costs for the F-35 (and for the new T-45 and F-14). While I've sincerely appreciated all the paypal donations, they cover just a small fraction of the expenses I had to face for the F-35.

@ All - I still have no internet connection at home and I am not able to read my personal e-mail (which is not accessible from my company's internet connection).

SpazSinbad said...

Dino, agree about the HUD - it is terrific. Overall your JSF aircraft is excellent. Just one niggle of mine: can the roll rate be increased (without impacting the otherwise excellent flight characteristics). I could re-search pilot comments about how quick the JSF controls are. Probably at about 250-350 knot range the ailerons could be more responsive and in any Navy version at Optimum Angle of Attack the aircraft should be very quick and responsive. However overall the flight characteristics are 'like butter' as mentioned by 'neutrino'. Great work by all - JSF a pleasure to use. Many thanks to all involved.

Anonymous said...

Main port landing gear shows through gear door during movemement.

Anonymous said...

Untextured square around
re-fueling nozzle.