Thursday, September 9, 2010

F-35 update to version 1.15 available at SimMarket

The updated F-35A installation file is available at SimMarket.
In addition to the changes listed, I've also fixed a minor texturing mistake in the fuselage (close to the refuel doors).
IMPORTANT! To the recipients of complimentary copies: I did a mistake in the email with the download link - the password shall be typed ALL in LOWERCASE. Apologies for the incovenience.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

F-35 Update to version 1.15 - almost ready

A quick update as I've changed my FSX priorities... Since I will leave for few weeks for a businness trip, I've decided to pack the latest improvements I did on the F-35 and release an update before leaving.
Do not expect any major upgrade... they are just few minor enhancements that otherwise would have sat on my hard disk for quite a while.

In detail:
- Emergency tailhook animation and geometry redone (should be closer to the real thing...or at least to my interpretation of the photos circulating on the internet... afaik, no clear images are publicly available at the moment I am writing)
- Vapor and whiskers effects redone - now they are less bulky and look better IMHO
- Afterburner effects redone - longer flame in stage 2 and much longer flame in stage 3...also better color and less bleeding
- Removed the big antenna from the top surfaces for "operational" model (such antenna does not show on the real AF-3, which is the first plane with complete mission systems... probably is replaced with an internal one).

That is it... I told you it was not much. I will probably send the files to SimMarket tonight or tomorrow.

Aside I just wanted to let all my fellow Italian simmers know that I'd love to make an Aermacchi MB-339. I do not consider the project dead yet - simply I do not have time to work on it right now.
In particular, I do not have much time to acquire and study the necessary documentation... it takes a really a lot of time.
But I promise that, once the new F-14 and T-45 are ready, the next in the line will be an Italian plane - most likely one from our beloved aircraft makers in Varese.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Projects update

Unfortunately for my social life and my hobbies, my "real life" job will absorb the vast majority of my time in the upcoming weeks - this means that a lot of ideas I had for my new FSX projects will be delayed or, most probably, cancelled. Businness is businness...

So, for what concerns FSX, I've decided to focus only on updates/remakes of the existing projects. Here is a brief overview of what I am working on:

T-45C Goshawk remake
I am very happy to see that my T-45C project has been appreciated so much by the community. However, it was my first FSX project...and I realize it could have been (much) better. So, as you can see from the image above, I am remaking it (almost) from scratch. I'll keep only the very best bits of the previous build - but at least 75-80% of the modeling will be redone.
The major difference is that now I have the T-45C NATOPS to work with, so the new Goshawk should be more accurate. The planned features are:
  • New, more accurate external model - with several optimizations for good frame rates
  • New, more accurate Virtual Cockpit for both pilot and instuctor seats (if possible)
  • Enhancements to the flight model to bring it closer to the NATOPS spec.

The current status of the project is well portrayed in the picture above... Fuselage and wings are done while I've started remaking the gears (kinematics in the previous version were wrong) and the interior details. All the textures will be remade, and this time most of them will be hand-drawn. I have no idea when it will be ready for its first flight.

F-14D Tomcat remake

Yes, yet another Tomcat version... it's an obsession. This time I've acquired professional 3D data to work with, hence the 3D model will be even more accurate. As I had to face a significant cost for the data, the chance is that there will be two versions: one will be a fully functional, pilot-only, time-unlimited freeware version - and the other could be a payware version which may have also the RIO cockpit and possibly alternate weapon configurations. But, this is just an idea for now. I have not made a list of the planned features of this project - even if, as you can see in the screenshot, a very preliminary build is already flying on my computer. And it is looking good, IMHO.

F-35 update

From what I know of the FSX add-on market, I think the F-35 release has been a good success, especially if you consider that the Lightning II is a very peculiar machine to model. From the feedbcak I've received, it seems that there are no major issues - but are few minor areas that may need some work. I am not sure when I will have the time to release an update - but most likely it will be in early October.

That's it for now - you feedback will be appreciated as always, but I'll be travelling for businness for the rest of the it may take a while for me to reply.