Tuesday, June 11, 2013

F-35 Version 2.21 - Feedback

Now that the F-35 version 2.21 is out, here is a post to collect feedback, observations, suggestions, etc. etc. to version 2.21. As you know my projects are being constantly upgraded...and sooner or later there will be an upgrade. So this is basically a memo for me... you are welcome to add your input in the comments. If you have a bug to report - please check if it is limited to a specific model (A/B/C) or it is a common one.


F-35B Fuel tanks are misaligned with respect to the pylons.
This is a modeling mistake - a minor one if you ask me...but these is one of those minor things that cannot be "unseen" once noticed...and it is one of those thing which are very annoying, IMHO.
So, in case it is a major problem for you and you cannot live with it, an MDL for the F-35B which fixes the issue can be downloaded by clicking HERE.
STATUS: Fixed in the updated MDL (download above)

All versions - TABS do not work in right half of the MFD when TSD is in full screen mode
Probably a coding issue... I'll check.
STATUS: Fixed in new MFD code (will be released in an update)

All versions - Autopilot GPS steering missing
It was left out by design decision - with many other features - in order to limit the complexity of the MFD code (which is pretty big for an FSX gauge as you can guess!). I'll consider to add it in the next update.

All versions - Weapon loads do not work - only one AIM-9X shows
A very limited number of users is reporting this. This is (almost) definitely not an issue of my package - there is most probably an Add-on module with changes the weight stations. One user has reported that the source of this was the MilViz F-15E Loadout manager (F-15 was disinstalled by the loadout manager was still active and for some reason was setting all load station to zero except the first one). Sorry, this is not my fault and there is nothing I can do about it (also because I do not have the Milviz F-15E...maybe a good reason to buy it, looks good!).
STATUS: Confirmed that it is due to Milviz F-15 loadout manager... not a bug of the package. 

All versions - Add more weapons!
I'll evaluate the addition of other weapons carefully - they are a burden to the model...
STATUS: Under evaluation.
EDIT:Added AIM-120C to internal stations. No time to do more than that.

Tacpack integration?
Integration of the Tacpack functionalities is totally doable but takes time. And I do not have much of it. I am working for a very limited set of functions - guns, AIM-9X and AIM-120 visual launch, JDAM freefall drop. Probably not more than that... which is comparable to the current F-35 capabilities :-)!
STATUS: Under evaluation. Depending on F-14D integration and Tacpack schedule for the build that will support support third party aicraft usage (still unclear).
EDIT: Tested AIM-9X (visual launch only), AIM-120 (visual launch only), JDAMs (freefall drop). Status of weapons as follows.

Gun: firing test OK. TO-DO: need to provide better visual interface and possibly interaction with fire control radar. Also, for F-35A, need to implement switch of guns if gunpod is present.

AIM-9X: visual launch test OK - correct lock-on, uncage and shoot behavior confirmed. Splashes drones correctly. TO-DO: Implement HMDS interface

AIM-120C: visual launch test OK - correct lock-on after launch, uncage and shoot behavior confiremd. Spashes drones correctly. TO-DO: Implement HMDS interface.

JDAMs: free fall drop OK. TO-DO: Implement HMDS interface.

All versions - SMS not showing front view of GBU-32
Coding error found and fixed.
STATUS: Fixed in new MFD code (will be release in an update)

All versions - Enlarged TDS rotation point misaligned.
Fix relevant parameter in XML code.
STATUS: Closed. Fixed in new MFD code.

F-35A - Tail numbers inverted on right tail
STATUS: Fixed in unreleased texture sets.

F-35C - BuNos missing from production F-35Cs (CF-6 and CF-7)
STATUS: Closed. Added BuNos to the textures (in an unreleased texture set)

All versions - Request to change nominal weight of fuel tanks to an "empty" valueAgreeable because they do not contibute with actual fuel - which could then be added to the fuel section in the aircraft.cfg.
STATUS: Closed. Recompiled model with 381 (empty tank, assumed the same as FPU-11) + 350 (estimated pylon weight) = 731lbs as token weight.

All versions - No paintkit available!As you may be aware of, I am not used to work with layered PSD files. So a proper paintikit is not available at the moment. However, I will provide "blank" textures (i.e. without markings) which are probably an acceptable starting point.
These were previously part of the package, but were left out from version 2.20 onward to reduce file size.
Please note that, from version 2.20, there are minor changes in several aeras... so older textures should not be used.
STATUS: Open, will provide blank files as separate download.

Flight test nose probes - Request to add the probes installed on flight test aicrafts.
STATUS: Closed - added as weight dependant feature (will appear if pilot weight is above 200lbs)


Varun Krishnaswami said...

Can't wait to try Tacpack on the F-35 and F-14 someday!!

Varun Krishnaswami said...

Hey also Dino, have you ever seen the F-16XL, it was probably the only F-16 which had no rear stabilizers but a stretched delta wing instead like the Mirage 2000, check it out.

Grabby said...

Hi dino small and unusfull suggestion to make the f35 closer to reality, a xenon landing light...

Thanks for all your job Dino, you make us fly with grat planes...

Bye Grabby

Scythan said...

Have a pretty serious bug with CATOBAR version - same bug I had with your T-45 actually... when AICarriers is moving, I get a crash detection right at the lip of the deck. I F/A-18 style this and do a hands-off cat launch, but still get the error.


blue six said...

For Schythan, perhaps this is dependent on AUW? I just flew several successful "hands off" cat launches off USS Nimitz, moving forward, in the latest F-35C. My config was very light - 5000 pounds fuel and no payload but pilot. Suggest you see if this also works for you, and if so, progressively add fuel/payload and see if/where the problem returns.

For Dino, thanks once again to you and your team for an absolutely superb product, which just keeps getting better.

blue six

blackout11c said...

You should try to contact the people who make Combat Pilot, that multiplayer combat thing for FSX. It would be awesome to see the F-35 flying around in that!

Dino Cattaneo said...


The bug you report is usually due to a small misplacement of the launch bar reference points which may conflict with the Landing gera carrier catapult references... as result, FSX detects a crash. If so, "ignore crash and damage" setting is a temporary fix.

However, I was unable to replicate your problem... at least using Javier's Nimitz. Can you specify which carriers are you using and if it happens from all the catapults?

Jiri said...

To be honest, I would suggest turning crash detection off anyway. Since FSX has no dynamic damage modeling like DCS for example, I don't see any point of simulation pausing and displaying "crash". When you crash, you know you crashed. There are no consequences for you while damaging something on your aicraft, so crash message seems rather annoying and pointless. And its problems and bugs are not going to improve immersion any further.

By the way, I finally get to fly F-35 a bit and it's really great update. Thank you! J.

Adam B said...

does anyone else have the aircraft shaking/ trying to spin when stationary on the ground, it happens on all models for me. it happens even with the engine off which is strange.

blackout11c said...

Adam B. the problem is one that is mentioned in the documents for the F-35. There is, as far as I know, no fix for it. It happens to everyone.

Jenson said...

When I try to put the AIM9X on hardpoints other than the wing, it only shows the pylon and the ASRAAM does not show in the internal bay at all.

Kavehpd said...

Would there be any chance to replace the traditional fx lights with in-built MDL lights in future updates?

This will not only eradicate the DX9 misalignment and DX10 disappearance bugs, but it will also allow you to simulate an accurate light configuration.

On each wing tip, forward to aft, there should be:

- two Nav lights (top and bottom)
- two Strobe lights (top and bottom)
- two Position lights (top and bottom; normally top left and bottom right configuration is used)

Both nav and posit lights can be set to steady/flash.

Regardless of the fact that .fx lighting in FSX is a horrible mess, adding the correct configuration in Aircraft.CFG will require more than 20 light.X entries just for lighting alone.

Anonymous said...

Any way to make this sp2 compatible?

Anonymous said...

Hello Dino, thank you for your generously shared work! I may have found a bug - in the "double TSD" (enlarged) map view the map rotates around point to the right of plane silhouette. It's easy to spot - just turn on airport display, enter slew mode and rotate plane. I hope my observation helps you bring the plane even closer perfection.

Adam B said...


i had no idea it was mentioned in the manual (must read it more thoroughly)

thanks for the help

Dino Cattaneo said...

thank you all for your feedback.
Miscellaneous answers:

I've never understood the root cause of this. I have tried several times to get rid of it with no success - or better, I got rid of it and the A/C become unstable while taxiing. Sorry for that, but I have no fix to offer.

It is extremely difficult for me to find the time to support additional features, such as the Tacpac - so supporting other platforms is not doable at the moment.

At the moment, the model supports only the weapons indicated in the manual and ONLY on the indicated stations. I.e. you can place AIM-9X only on station 1 and 11.

I used to place built-in MDL lights in the past...but then received a vocal feedback not to do so as it makes it impossible to replace/modify the visual effects for users that want to do so...

I am sorry but I do not have time for that. Afaik, however, the main incompatibility is the .air files (which need to be redone as they use FSX:A-only tables for supersonic behavior). Also, the F-35C 3d model may have visual issues due to the built-in carrier attachpoints.

Kavehpd said...

Thanks for your reply, Dino.

The reason I asked for MDL lights was the complexity of F-35 wingtip lights and the gact that with alighnment/disappearance bugs, it'd be almost impossible to get a satisfactory result. IMO hard coded lights achieve a more realistic look.

But I can totally understand your point regarding freedom of users. There'll be people complaining about brightness, size, colour, etc.

Kavehpd said...

Sorry for the typos. Fat fingers. Mobile keyboard.

Dino Cattaneo said...


No problem.
However, I tend to agree with you... modeled lights have several advantages.
But there is also another reason why I have decided to avoid (if possible) them: if they are too many, there may be issues with the launch bar reference points (which are themselves "attachpoints" in the SDK)...
At the moment I am using modeled light only if the lights are attached to moving parts...

Kavehpd said...

I understand. I noticed that in the C variant. It looks the same as other variants though, just hard-coded into the MDL. I only fly the RAF B variant. So no complaints there!! :)

Another thing I forgot to mention...

Regarding the external tanks, would it be possible to change their animation triggers to a smaller value (e.g. pylon weight + 1 = 351)? We can then add two external tank entries in the [fuel] section; no unnecessary and excessive extra weight for cosmetics. Only depletable fuel weight. This way, we get both the eye candy and the much needed fuel.

Redesigned fuel/weight gauge would be a bonus, of course.

Anonymous said...

That's great but I have one more question for either.
Where is the version without arms? Or at least without pylons?

Dino Cattaneo said...


Suggestion to change the token weight for the fuel tanks is a good one, although I'd change that to a value that is an estimation of the empty tank weight+pylon.


I believed it was clear that this model had weight-dependent loads... you can just put a 0 in the fuel and payload section to a given station to unload it (including the pylon).

Kavehpd said...


Regarding ground jittering issue, this is a bizarre COG/contact point issue that I have experienced before with some addons. It's very difficult to identify the main culprit (it's a combination of things). Normally, moving the COG closer to the main landing gears helps.

I've been fiddling around with the COG in B variant, but the aircraft becomes extremely unstable at +400kts. However, moving a couple of the heavier fuel tanks further back and "behind" the main landing gear seems to significantly reduce the issue.

This was a quick edit and I didn't have time to see how much it affects the AOA. But moving tanks 3 and 4 to "-40, 0, 0" has completely fixed the jittering for me and now it only happens occasionally when brakes are applied. No need to modify COG or contact points.

I know it wouldn't be an accurate representation of the real thing. But neither is the current tank configuration.

Hope it helps.

Jenson said...

I tried that and it moved the C of G too far back and made the aircraft unbalanced. She just wanted to climb all the time. It is possible to trim her out though.
You are right, it does get rid of the stuttering when on the ground.

Kavehpd said...

I just checked and can confirm what you said, Jenson. From M0.65 to M1.2, it seems to require more trim input.

But like I said, this is just a quick fix. Instead of messing with main COG or aerodynamics, just move two of the tanks further back. Otherwise, we'll need to just about re-do the whole FDE. I'd successfully tried it on other addons before and just though I should give it a try on Dino's F-35. And well.. it worked!

Ground jitters aside, I really really like the current flight dynamics. It's a perfect balance between fun and realism.

ochrona środowiska said...


But Dino. I'm talking about a machine that does not have anything under the wings.
Turn off the mass of the pylons, I know how to do it. But because of that I fly with colleagues in groups (F-35B) to us these pylons spoil everything. TackPack I'm not interested. From shooting are other better suited than fsx simulators such acrobatics.

Dino Cattaneo said...


As for the balancing...this is the reason why I have not touched it so far.
I am pretty happy with the current dynamics, and every attempt I made to get rid of the "ground jitter" made them worse, either taxing or flying so I have deicided to go with that.


I do not understand your question, then. Removing the weight from the stations, specifically putting 0 to STA1,2,3,9,10,11 WILL REMOVE the pylons. You will have nothing under your wings, regardless of the Tacpack. This can be made the default setting by editing the aicraft.cfg.
Also, it should work in multiplayer too.

Medioalmud said...

All versions - Weapon loads do not work - only one AIM-9X shows

Medioalmud said...

All versions - Weapon loads do not work - only one AIM-9X shows

ScimmiaSpaziale said...


Thanks for reporting, but this is already listed and apparently it is not a problem of my models, but it seems due to F-15E Milviz loadout manager. I tend to believe it is not my fault.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...


Thanks for reporting, but this is already listed and apparently it is not a problem of my models, but it seems due to F-15E Milviz loadout manager. I tend to believe it is not my fault.

Jenson said...

Just remove the Milviz folder from your FSX/Modules folder when you are not using it and it will sort out your F35 weapon loadout issues.

Kavehpd said...

Super. Cheers for the progress updates.

Daniele said...

Hi Dino,
please note that there aren't any indications about flaps, hook on the MFD of some models.
Looking forward to your next release, thanks in advance and my best regards!


Dino Cattaneo said...

Hi Daniele,

Flaps/hooks/spd brakes should:
- be indicated with graphical simbols (on the A/c silhouette) in
the FCS page in any case...
- be indicated in writing on the FCS page if the subportals are hidden.

This should be the same on all models, as now they share the same avionics code....

I will check again, but I believe it should work...

Daniele said...

I've double-checked what I was doing and you're right Dino, my sub-portals were hidden :S
Sorry for the alarm, thanks once again, cheers

Dino Cattaneo said...

No problem, Daniele!

Jiri said...

Dino, may I ask you about Tomcat update status? I see you're busy with F-35 now, but do you think we could see that one during next month maybe? Or later?

And by the way, have a look at this:


I wonder if and how they're going to deliver. I'm pretty sceptic (like always), but we'll see...

Cheers, J.

Dino Cattaneo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dino Cattaneo said...

Hi Jiri

As for the F-14 update is still in the works, I will soon post some progress and request for suggestions (in a day or two).

I will (almost surely) release it within the end of July.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dino , Regards on your F-35 A,B an C models , i noticed at slower airspeeds (230 mph and below) the aircraft has the same roll rate as it would flying at 350 mph , also the aircraft contintues to pitch back below the stall speed , Is there any way you could fix that? , also is is possible to add auto trim to all models since the bird is a 5th gen fighter?

Dino Cattaneo said...


I have made some adjustments to the flight model, so the behavior is generally better.

I will check the roll-rate against F-16 and F/A-18 flight manuals and see if there is any major inconsistency.

The fact that the A/C tends to pitch "backward" below stall speed is a pretty bad thing, obviously... I will check if it is possible to change it, without screwing up the slow speed dynamics.

Francis Drake said...

Hi Dino,
I'm trying your F-35 but I can't use the stol mode and vtol mode, the hook command open only the hook. I noticed in the MFD control surface that I'm in "emer mode" instead of "ctol mode", like all videos I seen, and I can't switch in "ctol mode".

The sswvtol.dll module seems properly load because when the flight start appears a rights notice message on top of the window.

What can I do?

Francis Drake said...

The version I tryied was 2.21, I remove completly hit and intalled version 2.10; only F-35B works fine, F-35A and F-35C have the same problem of the version 2.21.

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Francis Drake

I am not sure what your problem is... STOVL not working on F-35A and C?

-A and -C versions are not STOVL aircrafts.
-A is CTOL and -C is CATOBAR...

In version 2.21, STOVL gauges is initiated on all models...but that is for other reasons. Only the F-35 has STOVL functionalities, as in real life.

Thomas L. said...

Today my first flight test,

1) The Engine responds don't like it 5% chance in thrust is 50 to 70 kts increasing ore decreasing. Thrust management very unstable and oversensitive.

2) If possible to have an Edwards ore some F-35 without pylons ?

the rest looking nice not bad for navigation i use the digit in the HUD HSI don't work well you can not altering the CDI

I think about a video but the pylons made this bird ugly, some flight test later when i have more time.

a good test pilot is always in training Thomas L.

Thomas L. said...

The flight control ability in the Airforce model F-35A is not the same as in the F-35B NAVY version.

F-35A flying horrible as say before speed always run away stick input oversensitive and trim overreacting always to maintain an altitude impossible. And the pylons in all version made this F-35 looking ugly.

Its possible to have F-35A/B/C clean version ?

Jenson said...

Thomas, read the manual.
The pylons are only visible if you choose to have them on your aircraft.

Again, Read the manual...

Thomas L. said...

I read the Manual agin 3rd time after you post it.


And there is no Info about Pylons.

And say again there is no NAME PYLONS in the MANUAL

Thomas L. said...

Then tell me how to remove the PYLONS looking ugly.

Thomas L. said...

In the preview is always the Pylon visible but in flight is it away ?

Dino Cattaneo said...


First, are you sure you have the latest version?
There should be a clear explaination on the manual on how to remove/change the visual loadouts.

The preview will show the default setting (i.e. the payload declared as default in the aicraft.cfg). Then, you should go in the Fuel and Payload section of the Aicraft menu (this is standard for FSX) and edit the payload.

As indicated in the manual, the F-35 has eleven stations, numbered from 1 to 11. In addition, there is a payload station for the pilot weight (which has no visual effect).
Station 1 and 11 are sidewinder wingtip stations.
Station 2,3,9 and 10 are underwing stations (3 and 9 are "wet" stations).
station 4 and 8 are internal bomb bay stations.
station 5 and 7 are internal stations, only for AIM-120 missiles.
station 6 is a centerline gunpod only station.
Setting any of these weights to 0 will ERASE any payload, including pylons.
Please refer to the manual for token weights to enable other payloads - there is a payload section which I hoped was clear enough...

Dino Cattaneo said...

BTW Feedback is always welcome in any form, and even harsh criticsim - I am old enough to bear it!

But PLEASE first make sure you:
- Have the latest version (which is ALWAYS the one in this blog)
- Have read the manual
- Be specific in you comment

"The handling is bad" well, I have thousands of users with a different opinion...but this does not mean they are right...so please specifically what is wrong? Roll rate too high? Pitch rate overresponsive? Compared to what (better if you have specific reference to flight manuals).

Again, I am not complaining, and it is TOTALLY OK if you do. But if you provide a structured and precise feedback it is a great help to make a better FREE product.
So, if you feel so, BE HARSH...but be precise.

Anonymous said...

Can you make a paint kit for the F-35 line?If you can make it,that would be great.

Thanks alot for the F-35, it is the best military freeware I have used so far. Keep up the excellent works.Can wait for you to infuse with Tacpack!

Jay said...

Hey Dino, been flying your planes for years now, huge fan! The F-35 is fantastic for land based landing, however I can't control the vstol enough to land on ships like I can with the harrier. FSX base ship speed is 26 kts (without wind) and the JSF can slow fly to just under 60 kts.

However when taking off from ships with the hover, the base speed is taken into account and I can move the jet left and leave the ship.