Sunday, March 31, 2013

Projects updates...suggestions welcome!

In the past weeks I have been mostly working on the Tacpack SDK - understanding the basics and exploring its possibilities...therefore my plans have changed a little. Also, in order to make the Tacpack work, I had to venture into features which I had not implemented before, with benefits also to non-Tacpack versions of my models. In general, however, I am trying to code Tacpack features so that the model are "Tacpack aware" i.e. they can be used with and without the Tacpack (although, of course, weapons and tactical systems will only operate if the Tacpack is present). Anyway here is a brief update of all the projects I am working on. Suggestions are welcome!



Grumman F-14D Super TomcatThis is my testbed for Tacpack integration. To properly intergrate the Tacpack, I would have to write completely new codes for the avionics (which are currently aliased from the stock Hornet) - and I do not have the time to do that. Besides, Aerosoft is working on a top-notch F-14A which will surely be much better, realistic and more detailed than mine...and it makes no sense to compete with them in realism. So, for the moment: Guns, AIM-9M (visual launch), ECM, NVG and refuel features will be implemented. Actually most of the already are in place and they seem to work fine. AIM-7M and JDAM implementation is also feasible, but it may come at a later date. The new .mdl file will have weight-dependent loadouts.



Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
Since the F-35 already has code for custom avionics, it will be much easier, for me, to integrate Tacpack functions in it. F-35A and -B have already been modified to include variable, weight dependent loadouts (AIM9X, AIM120, GBU31, GBU12, CBU-not supported by Tacpack, JSOW and fuel tanks and missionized gun pod) - I am not sure I will be able to achieve "full" intergration with Tacpack (again, lack of time). Also, several minor fixes to texturing and modeling are planned.

Boeing T-45C Goshawk
At the moment the Tacpack does not support BDU-33...so I am not sure it is work updating the Goshawk for this. However, some minor tweaks to the cockpit (like "click" sounds when you activate the switches) could be a nice addition...

S-3B Viking
I have to confess I have neglected the Viking a little lately... but work is proceeding and the tail section of the outer model is done - and just needs animations. Given several factors, it will be a early (i.e. prior to MAD boom removal) S-3B...

Suggestions and comments are welcome as usual!

18 comments:

Growler Joe said...

Can we please have TacPack on the C model of the F-35?

Many thanks in advance.

Jiri said...

Hi Dino.

Do you think it would be possible to add exhaust smoke for the Tomcat? Maybe heat shimmering too. Basically, all that visual gimmickry FSXBA Hornet has.

By the way I'm curious about Aerosoft's one, but when I look at that texturing job - it's Iris FS2004 all over again :( I wish they put more work into it. Tomcat deserves it. J.

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Growler Joe

Sure - The C too is planned! Just not done yet... I am preparing all the three models to accept the Tacpack (which also means all three models will have variable loadouts even without the Tacpack)!

@Jiri

By looking at VRS's Hornet I am learning a lot of things. I'm see what makes sense to implement and what does not.

Anonymous said...

Can you make the F35 shoot missiles and drop bombs

Alex said...

Dino, do you intend to make an air-to-air refuelling version as well?

Varun Krishnaswami said...

Can you also try making the S-3B Viking tacpack aware, so it can drop bombs, and also give it the extendible refuelling line. And also on the F-14D, can you change the wing fold, as in it sweeps back (I think) a little too soon, as in like just after take off, and to bring it completely in front you have to be below 240 knots atleast, can you change this and make it 300 or 350 cause I think the F-14 can go with its wings fully spread out at 300 or 350 as well or something.

Allen Graham said...

Varun, I believe Dino already stated that the s-3 will have a extendable refilling line but it will be purely cosmetic.

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Anonymous

F-35 will supoort working weapons through Tacpack (at least to some degree)

@Alex/Varun/Allen

An in-flight refueling configuration is surely planned. It looks like that with the Tacpack it may be possible to make it work in multiplayer (but I have not tried yet).

Guenaizia José said...

Hello Dino

I know your productions since the beginning. I treat myself! This is of better in better.
Thank you, thank you.
I will suggest being able to put transparency in the cockpit amounts.
In fact former pilots of Naval Air Force said me that one always had to have seen it on the door have. Feasible in reality but difficult on FSX.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dino,

I recently downloaded and have been really enjoying your Boeing T-45C Goshawk.

One thing that bugs me though has to do with the projection on the HUD. When the T-45C first loads, I find my my eyepoint too far forward (too close to the instrument panel). When I move the eyepoint back, the HUD glass gets smaller, but the HUD projection does not, so you can't see the characters around the edges any more. Further back, the worse it gets. This is not how the default F-18A HUD works. I wold love to see this changed in the T-45C.

Overall though, it's a great model! Thanks for doing this.

Anthony F said...

Nice to see that you're making your F-14 even better than what it already is! I can't wait to try out your V2.0 tomcat when i have my new PC up and running. Also in the future it would be really cool to see your plane on the strikefighters 2 combat simulator! Keep up the good work :)

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Anonymous
This is done on purpose to have a collimated HUD. If you move your viewpoint, symbology is still conformal and aligned to the outside world. This is also how real HUDs work. Problem with FSX is that you cannot achieve this and superimpose the symbology over the HUD frame. However, if you use TrackIR, Freetrack or FacetrackNoIR, or even if you just move the viewpoint, the advantages of this implementation are self-evident.

@Anthony F
Unfortuntaley, export of my models to other simulators is out of question.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding piece of work as with the previous 1.06 version. Would love to see some VF-1 Wolfpack textures for this latest version also as it's my favourite Tomcat colour scheme

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation on collimated HUD. It seems to work as intended, particularly apparent with TrackIR.

Let me rephrase my comment: I feel that I have to sit too far forward in the seat to see the entire HUD projection on the screen - more forward than a pilot would be seated in flight - is this normal? Is there any way for me to shrink the projection size so I can see it all from further back?

Anonymous said...

The Super Hornet radar and HUD as modelled by VRS are surely close to the F-14D systèmes. Indeed a lot or MFD pages...

Keep it coming, amazing work !

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Anonymous

Unfortunately, Super Hornet MFDs cannot be aliased and used in the F-14...

Anonymous said...

i happened to notice there were not any A-6 intruders, or E/A-6B prowlers out there. have you ever considered making these aircraft?

Dino Cattaneo said...

Well, due to my fascination for naval aviation, I have surely considered making an Intruder... but it is not true there aren't any. Razbam, for example, has a pretty good intruder in their catalogue...