Monday, August 2, 2010

F-35A Lightning II for FSX:Acceleration - Support post

F-35 Lightning II for FSX:A soaring over Nevada desert
First, I'd like to thank you all for purchasing the F-35 and, most important, for the very positive feedback I've received and the nice comments I've seen circulating on the Internet.
Second, as the project is lacking a support forum so far, I thought it was a good idea to create this post as reference for the known product issues and fixes.
I will release a patch, in future, to address all the issues I can - although I am not sure I can fix them all - but I will not do that immediately, as I think it is better to wait a little in order to collect feedback from a wider user base (by the way the patch will be available though SimMarket - by accessing the customer account page).
By the way, I'd like to thank Orion Lyau for his corrections to the product manual.
Here is the list of the question I've received or issues highlighted by current customers, and their fix if possible:

Wing Vapor Showing when the "L" key is pressed

Reason - this is a mistake from my side during the final build compilation. I've been toying with additional special effects for a while but I've decided to leave them out. Unfortunately I've left the provisional vapor effect file in the final build.

Fix - either remove the F-35 vapor effects or the entry in the lights section of the aircraft.cfg (I will provide more specific indications soon - as I am not writing from my FSX computer). Will be addesssed in the next patch/upgrade.

The plane rotates slightly when it is parked or still on the ground

Reason - this is the same "micro-oscillation" issue described in the FAQ section of the manual. For some reason, there is a contact point instability that causes some "microbouncing" when the plane is not moving - the resultant effect is a (very small) rotation. This was solved in the Betas by modifying the gear points location, but in the final build I've preferred to use the right location for more accurate landing behaviour.

Fix - no proper fix available as the exact root cause has not been clearly identified

Slow frame rates in the virtual cockpit on some systems

Reason - Some systems may not handle too well the complex, high resolution MFD and HUD. The settings I've used in the final build provide the maximum clarity, but it is possible to reduce rendering resolution of the digital instruments in the cockpit by editing the panel.cfg file.

Fix - it is possible to decrease the resolution of the digital displays by editing the panel.cfg file. I will include an alternate panel.cfg in the next patch/upgrade, but a do-it-youself solution is provided in this thread of the Sim-outhouse forum

Q - Is (or will) the F-35A available for purchase on other websites or methods other than SimMarket?

A - No. The F-35 is exclusively available through SimMarket. Besides I would have no time to manage direct sales or other accounts.

Q - Will you make a simplified version that could work on lower end computers?

A - No, I'm sorry. The F-35 project was aimed at high-end systems from the beginning. Redesigning it would be too time consuming, and definitely out of the project scopes. The new T-45C I'm working on, on the other hand, has been designed to have a good performance - as I think this is essential to that project.

Q - Are you making the F-35B and F-35C, too? If so, are they going to be free upgrades or stand-alone products?

A - I have not decided yet. The F-35B and F-35C are very different from the F-35A - most important, it is technically difficult to modify the F-35A model to replicate those planes. I've been working on a "transitional" model for a while, that is a "neutral" F-35 model that could be more easily turned into an F-35B and -C, but I have not decided yet what to do. Besides, the F-35B would require external code (Rob Barendregt's VTOL code+FSUIPC) to perform proper STOVL operations, and I do not have the resources to support that. Aside, the F-35B and -C would need dedicated virtual cockpits. Long story short, I've not ruled them out yet - but I may need to simplify the project. As for their distibution method it is, of course TBD.

Q - What is the next project you will be doing (off topic, but frequently asked)?

A - I will make a post about my current projects soon. I'd like to do a lot of things, including the much requested MB-339, but I do not have time. I have a full time "day" job...and, believe it or not, a full and satisfying social life. This leaves very little time for my hobbies - and, if anything, the F-35 project is showing me that breaking even with FSX payware is a success. In any case, this is what I have on the drawing board.

  • T-45C Goshawk remake - the project goals are a more accurate visual model optimized for better fps; more accurate flight model; actual two-seat student/instuctor cockpits; in general, higher accuracy and fidelity to real NATOPS manual. This will surely be a freeware project.
  • F-14D Tomcat remake - I'm still not happy with the current Tomcat and I've already acquired professional 3d data and textures to work with. In this case, the scope would be maximum detail and accuracy. It is a project that is pushing FSX at its limits. I'd like it to be a freeware project, but there are some issues like data licensing and associated costs that I need to solve - I'll see what I can do.
  • Aermacchi MB.339, Aermacchi M346, McDonnell-Douglas TA-4J "Scooter, North American T-2 "Buckeye", Socata TB.9... all of these planes have been on the drawing board, for some reason or another. Some of these are just sketches, some others went as far as having some textures done and actually flying in FSX. But honestly, it is very unlikely I will ever find the time to complete them.


Anonymous said...

"The plane rotates slightly when it is parked or still on the ground"

It is really annoying "feature" of the model. You need to fix it ASAP.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Please do not be afraid of using proper words - a defect is not a "feature". The "micro-rotation" is a product defect - or, from another point of view, an instability in the FSX contact points solver.

I know it is annoying, but I've checked the contact points location several times and they are right.

It is possible to solve that by reducing the spacing between the gear contact points (I will post specific instructions later) but that would create a less realistic behaviour during landing touchdown.

As I was unable to solve this,I had to choose between rotation when still/parked and correct landing touchdown - and I choose the latter.

Still, I'll try once again to fix this issue.

Ken said...

I'm really enjoying this F-35, thanks Dino!

There are two bugs I've found that I am posting here, JIC you weren't aware of them yet. They don't really "effect" me, but I just wanted to point them out for your own knowledge.

1) The Autopilot command switch doesn't work for me in the VC. I have to use the KB to engage and disengage the AP.
2) There appears to be an error with the "Shadow" model concerning the right vertical stabilizer. I think the rear tip is separated from it, or there is an extra piece there as I get some weird shadow effects off it at certain angles, like when I'm flying east at around 10 or 11 AM in the north of the equator. Of course, this may be something to do with FSX and not your model, but I thought I would point it out.

All around, though, it's a great product.

rygagnon said...

Great work. I'm very happy I purchased this package. The only comment I would make is that it takes a long distance to come to a full stop on the landing roll. That aside I am very pleased with the package and many thanks for your work.

Raven said...

Pilot reflection image is very crisp in canopy. Especially with flood lights on. Please make it more transparent, if possible.

Sandy said...

I would like to see a 2D cockpit so that I could undock panels and move to my second touchscreen monitor as per the real thing.

Tomas Felipe said...

I downloaded the F-35 for FSX Acceleration, but the Texture of the plane won't show. all i see is a white plane. And the engine don't start. If but when i uninstalled the "accelerator" it works perfectly.

René Lux said...

Hello Dino and team,

I bought today your wonderful F-35 for Prepar3Dv3 and am inspired by this ingenious plane. What I like particularly well is the possibility to place the 2D panel on a second monitor. That's great.
But there is a problem. If I activate on the aircraft carrier the launchbar of the C_Variante this does not lock in the catapult and I can not start from the catapult. From outside it looks as if the launch bar is too short.
Flightdeck is "USS Nimitz - AICarriers
Am I doing something wrong or is it really at the Lightning?
Can you please help?
It would be really fantastic to be able to fully utilize this aircraft carrier.

Best greetings from Germany,
René "Frogfoot" Lux

Ps: Sorry for my bad English.