Sunday, December 14, 2014

Plans for closure of the F-14D project...

Much like I did for the T-45C, I would like to "close" the F-14D project, at least for FSX. So, whenever I will find the time, I will make a further, and hopefully last, update to this mighty feline.

Changes I have on my book at the moment are:
- Replace the ASI gauge with a proper ASI/Machmeter
- Replace the ADI with a better model
- Replace the Altimeter with a better model
- Add the scratches effects to the VC
- Try to improve autopilot logic
- Try to improve reflections
- Lower the visors on the crew helmet

...not much. If you have suggestions or requests, they are welcome. I cannot promise anything - but the fact that I am willing to listen.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

How to create working mirrors for P3Dv2 aicrafts

Just a quick heads-up for aicraft developers (and a quick memo for me) - here is how the working mirrors in my T-45C for Prepar3d V2.0 are done.
This is not meant to be a "tutorial", but just a quick note to show one of the possibilities provided by the new features of Prepar3d V2.
Specifically, Prepar3d V2 has an extended camera system, that allows you to easily render-to-texture any view, including IR sensors etc.
To make a working mirror for you Virtual cockpit you simply create a camera view with specific settings, assign a texture name and then use the texture in your 3D model.
In the T-45 there is a camera set as follows:

Description = Real time mirror
Origin = Virtual Cockpit
MomentumEffect = No
SnapPbhAdjust = Swivel
SnapPbhReturn = FALSE
PanPbhAdjust = Swivel
PanPbhReturn = FALSE
Track = None
ShowAxis = FALSE
AllowZoom = TRUE
InitialZoom = 0.60
SmoothZoomTime = 2.0
ZoomPanScalar = 1.0
ShowWeather = Yes
XyzAdjust = TRUE
InitialXyz = 0, 0.5, 0
InitialPbh = 0, 0, 180

This should be enough to generate a $mirror texture you can use in the VC. You will need, of course, to orient/flip it properly. Also, I have made the base material "self illuminating" otherwise the mirror would receive shadows from the rest of the cockpit.
In green are the specific lines that do the trick. You can of course customize the camera angles and the rendering setting to your preferences (but remember that more detail means bigger fps hit).

All the parameters are described in detail in the SDK - the trick works in a similar fashion for IR sensors or with other post processing effects.

I will probably add this to all my other planes (starting from the -D version)... when I'll get the time. Problem then is that you end up having two models (one for FSX and one for P3Dv2)... which takes longer to maintain.

Hope this helps. Ah, needless to say this ONLY works in Prepar3D v2.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Projects update and future plans...


Time for a quick update on my various projects... lately my job kept me extremely busy, so I had very little time for flight simulation, and the progress on mt designs have been very slow. Still most of them are in good shape, and, while slow, the progress is steady.

Aermacchi MB.326
If you follow my facebook page, you should know that the two seater version is almost finished. Basically the only missing thing is the weapons functionality, which should not be too long to implement. I believe we could have a complete beta by the end of November, and a release before (or around) Chirstmas.

Eurofighter Typhoon
Airframe modeling in progress...30% done

Lockheed S-3B VikingViking fans, don't worry. I have collected feedback from the initial release, and I have already implemented some of them. I'll release an update as soon as I can find the time.

Grumman F-14D Grumman
Much like I did for the Goshawk, I would like to "close" this project for a "final" release. This would ideally include all the improvements applied to the Goshawk - including better graphics for some instruments and better glass reflections. Again, the problem here is to find the time.

Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II
...same mantra here. I have a bunch of improvements in the works, but could not find the time to release them. Following the recent successful sea-trials of the F-35C this project is getting some more attention, so I should be

Boeing T-45C GoshawkThis project is closed and over... but still there are few very minor things I would like to a further update is not ruled out completely. is the situation. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New project announcement(s) and updates for the current ones.

I have completed a feasibility study for an Eurofighter Typhoon and I think I can announce this will be my new project for 2015. This is a quite complex aicraft to simulate, and I can say right from the start that it is not going to be a complete and fully realistic simulation - for one, most of the aicraft documentation is still classified. After collecting the all the data I could get, I believe that, in terms of realism, it could be, more or less, in the same league of my Tomcat.
Preliminary targets for this projects are as follows:
- high detail external visual model and virtual cockpit
- medium fidelity avionic system ("medium" meaning that it will be more or less in the same league as my other projects in terms of realism)
- medium fidelity flight dynamics
- bespoke sound set
- support of working weapons though Tacpack (although other systems can/will be evaluated)
- release date: unlikely to be earlier than summer 2015
- probably payware, but still TBD (please understand this is a very complex project to develop...and may well require some fundings).

By the way, some people suggested I could use Kickstarter. If you have seen the South Park season premiere you have seen the reasons why I dislike Kickstarter. It is cool and everything, but a good platform for scams.

What about the Aermacchi MB339, then?
Well, it will be developed as a "platform extension" of the 326. Flight model, a big part of the avionics and roughly 60% of the visual model can be reused as they are. On the other hand the virtual cockpit is almost completely new, and the textures need to be redone.
I will continue working on it from time to time.

Speaking of the MB.326, the project has slowed down a little... but it is still in a very good shape an I believe that a release within November is still possible. Here are a couple of screenhots of where we are at the moment:

Last, quick update to the other projects.

Grumman F-14D Tomcat:This will be the next of the old projects I'd like to close - there are very few things that I'd like to fix/improve and I am quite happy with it - also feedback from the users is largely positive and seems that there are not big oustanding items to fix.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II:
I have several small improvements in the works for it... and if I had more time, with the new functionalities of P3Dv2, it would be possible to create a more complete avionic suite... we'll see.

Lockheed S-3B Viking:I have received many more comments for the v1.00 than I did for the Beta. I think this is partially expected, but the other way around would have been better. Anyway, there are no big changes, and v1.01 is on the way.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

T-45C Goshawk version 2.70 (final?) release

As previously announced, here is a further update to the T-45C Goshawk project. Specifically, and tentatively, this is meant to be the last and final update to the project. Of course it is possible that I have made some mistakes and introduced new bugs... so there may be a fix if there are major mistakes.
Anyway, the intent is to cease the support and updates for this project, given that I do not have enough time to keep on updating my older planes while making new ones. I am really sorry for this, but I cannot support this anymore. So, support and updates for older projects will cease to allow the full scale development of new ones (announcement soon!)...

This version introduces working mirrors for P3Dv2 users (which are OFF by default... you need to manually install the feature...see the information below) and a new canopy glass rendering which includes scratches - I am sure that some of you will not like it, so there is an option to remove them (again, see information below). I also though it was worth making an extra effort and remaster all the external features, which now have more details and should hopefully look better. Here is the full list of changes:

- Improved canopy reflection, which hopefully will fit better to P3Dv2 rendering engine
- Addition of canopy "scratch" texture as implemented in the S-3, with option to remove it.
  NOTE: To remove the scratches from the canopy look into the OPTIONAL FEATURES/NO SCRATCHES subfolder and:
  grab the and replace the default one in the TEXTURE folder.
  You may want to backup the original files.  
- Optional VC model with working mirrors for P3Dv2 users (comes at a frame rate hit)
  NOTE: To install this feature, please look into the OPTIONAL FEATURES/WORKING MIRRORS subfolder and:
  1 - Replace the aicraft.cfg with the one in this folder.
  2 - Replace the T45C2.mdl in the MODEL folder with the one in this folder. 
  You may want to backup the original files. 
- Fix to ADF digital display
- Improved graphics of some gauges, and new ASI/Machmeter and Altimeter models
- Remove the environmental reflection from the external model (users reported rendering problems)
- Fix to a minor backlighting issue in cockpit view
- Fix to a minor glitch in the weapon configurator
- Remastered external textures with additional details
- Helmet visors are now down by default: Exit-3 command will raise them (SHIFT+E and then 3)
- Swapped ADI/HSI default configuration
- Setting pilot or instructor weight to 0 will make the relevant crew figure disappear.

Download from the side bar as usual.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ceasing support and updates on older projects...

As of today, I have always followed the "continuous improvement" approach - all my FSX projects have been continuously updated whenever possible.
Unfortunately, since the fleet is growing, it is impossible for me to continue supporting / updating older projects and making new ones.
Therefore, I am collecting all the feedback and suggestions I have gathered recently on my older projects in order to prepare "final" builds - after those, no further improvement or support is guaranteed.
I am sorry for that, but I definitely have no time to support my older projects as I did in the past. So, the first project that will be closed is the T-45C Goshawk.

This is the list of changes that I will be implementing - most of them are already in place in the internal build.

- Improved canopy reflection, which hopefully will fit better to P3Dv2 rendering engine
- Addition of canopy "scratch" texture as implemented in the S-3, with option to remove it
- Optional VC model with working mirrors for P3Dv2 users (comes at a frame rate hit)
- Fix to ADF digital display
- Improved graphics of some gauges, and new ASI/Machmeter and Altimeter models
- Option to remove the environmental reflection from the external model (for users who do not like it or have problems)
- Fix to a minor backlighting issue
- Fix to a minor glitch in the weapon configurator

If you have further suggestions or requests please let me know asap. I cannot promise I will implement anthing that is not in the list above, but I will surely have a look.

Monday, September 15, 2014

S-3B Viking v1.00 release

Well, I have to confess that the S-3B is still nowhere I'd like it to be in terms of quality. To me, it was not as satisfactory as the previous project, and the resulting quality and accuracy still leaves a lot to be desired. Anyway, I believe it can still be considered a decent piece of freeware and it is probably the best rendition of the Viking around. So I guess I should be happy...
Anyway, I have fixed some of the small issues that emerged after the 0.99 release - and given that I will not have much time in the next few weeks, I have decided to release version 1.00 "as it is" tonight. It is not significantly better than 0.99, but considering that no major bugs were detected I think it should be OK for most users.

With respect to the 0.99 Beta, changes are as follows:

Version 1.00
September 15th 2014

- Improved glass reflection
- Fixed aicraft.cfg entry os that NASA livery was not listed
- Fixed aicraft.cfg manufacturer entry
- Fixed texture on copilot seat (did not match placard)
- Fixed strobe, navigation and formation light switches not working in VC
- Improved flight model, should provide more accurate speeds
- Replaced ASI/Mach and altimeter models with more accurate ones
- Fixed elevator and trim indicators not working
- Fixed landing gear doors reflections
- Fixed APU door is now animated (open and closes with APU switch)
- Files are now signed for Tacpack Multiplayer

- Landing light does not illuminate the ground (compiling the light in the mdl does not work for some reason I do not the light effect is in the aicraft.cfg - this is why it does not illuminate the ground)
- Authrottle not working as intended (root cause not identified)
- Some users reported issues with the launch bar, but could not be replicated (launch bar does not have issues on my system and seems to work fine - if you have "bumping" issues you may consider not to apply full throttle before launching)

File can be downloaded from the side bar as usual.

So, once again, I am not really proud of this one - it seems a little below my other projects. Still the Viking is such an awesome machine that, hopefully, some of its awesomeness will show in this rendition.
One last thing - the AI-tanker model is ready but there is a strange (and not yet solved) bug in the hose animation. I am considering to change it to an on/off condition - anyway I'll try to fin the time to release in the next few days, but do not count on that...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Current project updates - and a thoughts for the next one...

Above is a picture of the current build of the MB.326 virtual cockpit - it is almost complete. Actually it just misses the gunsight and some warning signs... In the meantime, Alessandro of Sim Skunk Works has been refurbishing the external textures so they look even better than in my previous screenshots (we will be able to show the looks of the updated model very soon). Also Sim Skunk Works is providing a very realistic flight model: Roy is leading the dynamics design while Mario is providing flight testing - both are seasoned real-world military pilot, and given than Mario has hundreds of flying hours on the real 326 I am really confident that in the end we will have a great result. Last, but not least, Serge is at work on a sound package - based on the sounds from the GoPro recording of my unforgettable flight... (by the way, here is a short version of the video - ) - so the project is in a very good shape, and it is done when it is done... but it is looking really good.

Also, as of today, we plan to support both Tacpack and VAcmi - which is a weapon functionality / management package from Sim Skunk Works - you should check it out (and works in P3Dv2, too!)...

So, what about the rest of my stuff?
Well, there are plans to update all the fleet - but I am experimenting some new techniques and I am building a small set of new and more accurate 3D gauges for the 326 - the plan is to progressively retrofit them on the T-45C, F-14D and S-3B. All will be available as soon as possible, but this is a lot of work - so I cannot say for sure when it will be ready.
Also, minor updates await the F-35 too... 

...and after the 326? Back on the deck with and E-2 or an EA-6B? Well, I am sorry to disappoint all the naval aviation enthusiasts out there, but I think I am done with naval aicrafts for a while - the planes I made where the most interesting ones for me, and I will keep them updated.

At the moment I am evaluation two projects:

1) Aermacchi MB.339A - This is the evolution of the MB.326 and the current ride of the Frecce Tricolori (but will be replaced in 2017 by the M345 - a Siai 211 derivative that does not look as slick IMHO). It is a very important aicraft for aviation enthusiasts in Italy, so either it will be good or it will be a disaster. On the good side, lots of documentation available, and I could reuse a lot of the work done on the MB.326 (the most of the airframe is similar)... Here is how a preliminary test looks so far:

Also, it has to be (or have as an option) a low-poly version mode for large formation flying.

2) Eurofighter Typhoon - This is a much more complex and difficult project. Most of the documentation is still classified (actually the Avionc System manuals can be found with Google - but that is not enough to model it). A good, weapon capable Typhoon would be great - problem is development costs and time would be huge (and probably would be in the payware area). Let's see.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My two cents on the freeware thing and other topics

I have been recently involved in a couple of interesting discussion on freeware and other topic, and I think it is worth spending five minutes sharing my point of view and clarifying my position on a couple of things.
First thing let me clarify what I mean with freeware (given the definition of this word has changed somewhat over time): I use this word in the meaning commonly accepted within the FSX community, that is you can download it and use it for free - but I still retain the copyright and you are not allowed to make changes to it. This is different from the "Free Software" concept and from the Open Source approach.

- Converting my models in other simulators or for other purposes: this is NOT allowed, and, in general, I am NOT releasing my source models. Reason for this is not, as several people suggested, that I am not willing to share my work. The fact is that some parts of my models are derivative of third party work of which I do not have the rights or permission to share.
This does not mean that I am not willing to cooperate with other designers - on the contrary none of my work could have reached the current quality level without external contibutions! - but I am not in the legal position to authorize other people to use my models.

- Why I do what I do if I am not getting any money? Because it is great fun. I design my planes first and foremost for my own usage and enjoyment - hence they are good enough when they fit to my taste. They are not designed to appeal to customers, or be fit to any other purpose.

- Payware vs. Freeware: I have absolutely nothing against payware, and it would be a great mean to get more "budget" for my projects. Fact is I do not have time to support this activity in a more professional matter - let alone the financial and taxes  and paperwork thing. It is not ruled out in future.

- You made it free so "you get what you get and users cannot complain". I can tell you that users will complain (mostly in a very polite and constructive way, but there are exceptions) regardless if they get them for free or not. I think I always made my best to listen to all the feedback - and implement it. I am sorry but I cannot always grant a timely reply (or a reply at all)...but rest assured I read everything and keep track of what you say.

- Realism: in general I try to make my planes "reasonably" realistic. The rationale is "good enough for me"... there is no guarantee of any kind on realism, nor my planes cannot be considered on par with ones from other designers in that respect. At least I am trying to represent all the peculiar features of the subject.
That being said.... expect further updates for the T-45C and the S-3B soon!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Aermacchi MB.326: announcement and project scope

One thing I am really happy about my new Aermacchi MB.326 project is that it will benefit from the help of members the Sim Skunk Works Group. I think they need no introduction, but in the remote case that you do not know them, you should definitely check out their website and their aircrafts (to name one their F-104 rendition is legendary - and the work they are doing on their new Tornado model is really promising):
They have offered their help in several areas and their help is more than welcome - especially since the quality of their work is guaranteed. As additional "bonus" their team includes a pilot which has hundreds of flight hours in the real MB.326. Here are primary targets of the project:
  • The main scope of the project is to create a realistic rendition of the Aermacchi MB.326
  • The level of realism shall be enough to provide a good training device for people looking to advance to "serious" military simulation 
  • The model will be optimized for minimal frame rate impact
  • Given the dozens of different configurations (I have counted more than 25 variants) the main visual model will be the MB.326E I-RVEG - the reason why I picked this particular variant is that I had the chance to fly on it, and it is the only MB.326 in flying conditions.
  • The backseat cockpit will not be modeled to help with frame rate
  • For flexibility, the cockpit model will be a sort of "average" between the cockpits of the MB.326E, -G and -K - i.e. a generic "mid-70's" configuration.
  • The package should have at least one livery for each major operator (by "major" I mean by number of aicrafts: Italy, South Africa, Brazil and Australia were the largest users).
...and here is a list of "secondary targets" that I would like to achieve (in order of difficulty - easiest to hardest) but it will depend on time and resources:
  • Include basic Tacpack compatibiliy (note: given that different variants had different weapons capabilities, I will stick to a generic configuration)
  • Include at least a livery for EVERY operator (there are dozens!)
  • Include external model variants
  • Extend the project to include the MB.326K (single seater, light attack version)
  • Extend the project to include the MB.339A (there are a lot of commonalities between the 326 and the 339, and I have some draft material on the 339... but that is a lot of work)
That being said, I believe there is no way to complete anything before end of 2014 - beginning of 2015.

...and in reply to your questions: YES I'd like to to an Eurofighter too. Problem is that, as you know, this is just a hobby for me and my "bandwidth" is full. When the MB.326 project will be in a better shape, we will see...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

S-3B Viking, bug report, suggestions, etc.

I am quite happy to see that, apparently, there are not catastrophic issues with the 0.99 release of the Viking. This is indeed good news - but still there are a couple of things that I'd like to fix.
Here is a list of known bugs / suggestions / requests / FAQs with my comments ("Fixed" means that it is fixed in my own build):

1) [BUG] Wrong entry in the aicraft.cfg makes it impossible to see the NASA livery - Fixed

2) [BUG] Incorrect cruise speed, especially at high altitudes (aicraft is slightly too slow) - I will check the NATOPs and will work on this to find a proper fix.

3) [Request] Torpedoes not working: torpedoes are not currently supported by Tacpack and therefore are not implemented.

4) [Request] Missing SENSO and TACCO stations: unfortunately I have no time and resources to do them, besides they would have little or no function in FSX

5) [Request] Where is the S-3 AI Tanker? It is almost ready. It will be initially released as a separate file, but may be integrated in the base package in the initial release.

6) [BUG] External Light switches are not working - I will fix that.

7) [BUG] Launch bar still having issues on some system - I will investigate that, but cannot guarantee a solution as it is perfectly working on my system...

8) [BUG] Allowed airspeed error on carrier approach is too small - I will investigate that, but I am reclutant to make big changes to the flight model in that department, as the carrier behaviour seems quite good...

9) [BUG] Autothrottle apparently not working as intended on my system (but I have checked the code several times and it seems OK)...

10) [BUG] Reflection of bomb bay doors is slightly different from the rest of the fuselage.

....if you have other things to report, you are welcome to do it here. I will keep the list updated, at least for a while, to track what your feedback.
Also, as usual, I am looking to improve all my aicrafts and any suggestion on the F-35, F-14 and T-45 is welcome.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

S-3B Viking version 0.99 release

Well, given that my vacations are approaching and I ran out of steam on the S-3B Viking, I have put togheter the most complete build I could and so here is version 0.99 for you to download.
There are several minor known bugs, (hence it is not named version 1.00) but there is no way for me fix them in a reasonable time - and given the feeback on the Beta, I believe the current build is good enough for the vast majority of the users.

One of the biggest shortcomings is that this rendition cannot be used, as it is, as a tanker for other aicrafts.... I will release separate file with a suitable model soon.

Anyway, I hope you'll like it - download from the side bar as usual (note: it is a quite large file...aboy 250Mb. This may easily saturate the daily Google Drive bandwith... in case you are unluckly and cannot dowload the file, you can try in a day or two...from my experience, in 2 or 3 days there will be no problems)...


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

...and F-14D Tomcat upgraded to version 2.35.

Yet another small upgrade to the F-14D Tomcat. I do not see major improvements in the FSX may be finally worth moving to Prepar3D v2.X as main development environment, maybe. Anyway, changes are as follows:

July 23rd, 2014
- added ADF needle in MFD HSD
- fixed HSEL/CSEL section in MFD ADI
- fixed and updated flight manual
- added code for automatic launch bar retraction
- added 2D panels (MFD 1, 2, 3 and PTID - note: PTID must still be turned on in the RIO cokpit. 2D displays are controlled as touchscreen)
NOTE: as pointed out by many users, some soft keys are not working. This appears to be a mouse click area detection bug in the FSX engine, since the code has been checked several times and found to be completely correct.
Also, moving the point of view inside the cockpit will make them work... so sorry if it detracts from the experience but I see no wat to solve it.

Download from the side bar as usual.

Monday, July 21, 2014

T-45C Goshawk updated to version 2.66...


Following the release of Tacpack version (which introduces training bombs), here is a small upgrade to the T-45C Goshawk. I took the chance to introduce some fixes and add a couple of user-requested features like the 2D MFDs. Download from the side bar as usual.
- Added (subtle) environment reflection to the external visual model
- Added working training bombs (requires Tacpack, to implement this payload stations have been changed as follows:
  applying 125lbs to wing pylons will make the bob rack appear; applying 25lbs to the auxiliary stations will make a bomb appear.
- All A/S weapons in Tacpack are now released by pressing the Pickle
- It is possible to pick CCIP option in the MFD/STRS page.
  Note that neither the CCIP or the manual depression reticle have been tested for alignment and they are almost a gimmick.
- Added station direction indication for VORs to the MFD-HSI page
- Added station direction indication for Tacpack-spawned Tacans to the MFD-HSI page
- Added station direction indication for NDBs to the MFD-HSI page (fictional, added for training purposes)
- Added ILS needles to the MFD-ADI page
- Fixed minor backlighting bug in Virtual cockpit
- Fixed minor texturing bug in Virtual cockpit
- Added code to provide automatic retraction of the launch bar
- Added pop-up 2D MFD panels (SHIFT+5 and SHIFT+6) - soft keys on the 2D panel are controlled via "touch screen"
- Minor tweaks to low speed flight dynamics
- Tweaks to .fx effects (should get rid of the infamous red blinking of the VC)
- Manual (finally) upated to reflect recent changes

Friday, June 27, 2014

...and here we go again. F-14D Tomcat Version v2.33

Sorry but I could not resist, and here is another update for the F-14D Tomcat. Thing is, while I was writing the code for the Viking (and for the T-45C update) and following feedback from the users, I realized that there were a couple of missing features in the Tomcat and Goshawk avionics that could be implemented with no effort.

So here we go:

June 27th, 2014
- added ILS needles in MFD ADI
- added ILS needles in MFD HUD
- added VOR bearing needle in HSI
- added Course deviation scale in HSI
- added VRS Carrier support to the HSI (shows as Tacan)

As usual, you can download the file from the side bar.
The T-45C Goshawk update will be held until the new Tacpack update is released.
The S-3B Viking will be released most probably in a couple of weeks.

By the way, I do not have time to upload the file to Avsim and Flightsim (takes more than one hour and sometimes it fails from home!), in general, I will not do it in future.
Should you want to upload the file to any repository, you are welcome to do so - provided the site is free.  In any case, the only place guaranteed to have the latest version is this blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

...and yet another Tomcat update (version 2.32)

I believe it is hardly surprising that, while testing the S-3B Viking, few more minor bugs pop out on the other aicrafts... and I feel the urge to fix them (this is getting embarassing... as starting to look like a mild for of OCD)...

Anyway, here is the list of changes:
June 26th, 2014
- Fixed very minor glitch in ADI backlighting
- Fixed bug preventing HUD Declutter to work
- Reworked stores configurator: now shows current weights and limitations
- Fixed bug preventing "LAUNCH" button in RIO stations from working. Button now fires A/A missiles.
- Few additional buttons can now be switched on/off (but no function)
- Added automatic retraction of launch bar
- Fixed bug preventing the manual control of the Radar Elevation in the RIO cockpit (Tacpack). Radar is anyway re-centered when A/S or GUN mode is invoked.
Download from the side bar as usual. Let me know if those fixes screwed up something else (as it is sometimes the case - the F-14D avionics is starting to be quite a large piece of code and mistakes may well happen!)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Current status of my projects...

First my apologies for not having replied to some of your messages and questions... I try to do what I can to reply to everybody, but I do not have much time and providing support is difficult... sorry for that.
Anyway, here is a quick recap on where we are with my various flight simulation projects... let's start with the older ones:

T-45C GoshawkI have spotted (and already fixed in my internal build) a couple of minor bugs in the Goshawk cockpit...but the big news is that the Tacpack will finally implement training bombs, and so I will update the Goshawk accordingly... so basically I am waiting for VRS to update the Tacpack before proceeding. Should that not happen in the next few weeks, I will release the bug-fixing update anyway.

F-14D Tomcat
No plans for further update at the moment. There may be a P3Dv2-only version in the far future.

F-35A/B/C Lightning II
There are a couple of things that I would like to improve/fix...also I have received a tweaked flight model from an user that, in many instances, seems to replicate well the (very few) performance and flight test results available to the public. I need to find the time to test the new flight model properly, to make sure there are no pitfalls... anyway looks like it may be worth another update. 

S-3B Viking
Feedback from the Beta testing phase is largely positive and ecouraging, thank you! There seem to be very few things that need fixing which is a very good result IMHO.
I will proceed with bug fixing asap - it may take two/three weeks to fix the issues and release version 1.00.

MB.326/339 projectThis is looking very good IMHO. At the moment, the external model of the MB.326E is 95% complete (except the ordnance)... project strategy is still TBD, as the top priority is to deliver the Viking.

Aside, given the time these projects are taking is growing so that this activity has almost become a second job, I am considering, once again, the possible switch to "freemium" payware strategy. For example, we may have the ES-3 and US-3 models to be available as payware (while the S-3 will aways remain freeware) and/or the additional MB.326 models (e.g. the Tacpack enabled versions, or the single seat version) as payware, while the base model will remain free...
At the moment I am just thinking about that... then we will see. The main target, for me, is and will Always be to get the best quality with the few resources I have for this hobby...but as you may guess, this FSX-hobby of mine has grown to quite large proportions...
Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Monday, June 9, 2014

S-3B Viking - Beta Release / DOWNLOAD WITHDRAWN


Given that I will not have much time to work on the Viking during the next few weeks, I have decided to release the S-3B Viking "Beta" version as is.
This is a testing version only - you are welcome to download it and fly it, but you should expect several malfunctions and issues.

Please report any bug or issue you find - the preferred way is to leave a comment to this post.
As per my previous testing campaigns, the bug reports / change requests are color coded (you may want to specify if the problem you found is "green", "yellow" or "red" according to you):
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 - the issue is severe and spoils the experience significantly for many users; root cause not identified as of today or the problem is beyond my knowledge or impossible or very difficult to solve for me.

As I said, you are welcome to download the file, fly the Viking and report your impressions, but *PLEASE* stick to the following rules:
- Report your issues as comments to this post
- Before reporting an issue, make sure it is not aleady on the list
- Before reporting an issue please check what are the exact condition in which it happens.
- Please refrain from "opinions", if possible check against the flight manual (It can be easily found with Google, and can be read online at avialogs)
- Please understand this will not be a complete rendition of the S-3B Viking. The aicraft is very complex, and I am looking for a "medium" realism version. Specifically, weapon system will be very simplifed.
- TAKE YOU TIME: I won't be working on the Viking for a week or two. Take your time to test it: there is not hurry, and it is not a competition to report as many bugs as fast as you can. It is much more important to clearly identify the bug. Basically if you have not spent a couple of hours flying the Viking, it is probably too soon to report a bug.
- Rivet counters beware: I do not like you :-)
- Please DO NOT REDISTRIBUTE the file. It is a test version: it is not good enough for a wider release.

Project status (updated on 06-09-2014):

External model:
External model is almost complete and I do not envision making many changes in the final version. Please note that exit #2 is mapped to the refuel probe, exit#3 is mapped to the weapon bay doors, exit#4 extends flir, refuel hose and MAD boom. Note that, if a refuel pod is present, SENSO and TACCO and Mad Boom will be removed. If you do not have the Tacpack, external loads can be changed with following weights:

//STATION 1 and 6 (Underwing pylons)
//DUMB BOMBS MK84, 1992lbs; MK83, 986lbs;
//MK82, 558lbs + LAUNCHER 250lbs = 808lbs
//LAU68, 250lbs + LAUNCHER 250lbs = 500lbs
//AGM65, 650lbs + LAUNCHER 200lbs = 845lbs
//MK82, 558lbs; LAU-68, 250lbs.
//REFUEL POD 843 lbs
//EXT FUEL TANK 381 lbs
//AGM-84D 1400 lbs
//STATION 2 to 5, only MK82, 558lbs

Open issues:
EX01 - Mk.46 Torpedos not modeled: CLOSED - Modeled REXTORP and added to external model. 20/6/14
EX02 - Change animation sequence of refuel hose to make it compatible with multiplayer: OPEN
EX03 - Refuel tanks are missing the specular maps: CLOSED. Added specular map to fuel tanks. 20/6/14
EX04 - Beacon light on the tail fin does not follow the fin folding animation: CLOSED - fixed 3D model and hardcoded light into mdl and linked to tailfin animation. Fixed on 9/6/14
EX05 - Bug in flap animation: CLOSED - Known issue from previous build, flap system not in sync with commanded positions. Error in aicraft.cfg prevented proper link of the animations.
EX06 - Left aileron animation incorrectly mapped to horizontal stabilized: CLOSED - fixed 3D model. Fixed on 9/6/14
EX07 - Request to have separate textures for flaps inner surfaces (in order to add Modex digits). FIXED. Upper surface of inner port flaps no more mirrored. Fixed on 25/6/14
EX08 - AoA indexer light is reversed in the external model. CLOSED. Visibility tags assignment was wrong... Fixed on 25/6/14
EX09 - Wheels animation is incorrect (only 180°) - Status: CLOSED 27/7
EX10 - Small gap between bay door and fuselage - Status: CLOSED, not completely solved bit mitigated. 27/7

Virtual cockpit:
Modeling of the VC is almost complete too - there are some minor details missing, but it will not change much. Most of the instruments needed to conduct a safe VFR flights are in place and working, but cockpit functionality is not complete.

Open issues:
VC01 - ILS not showing on ADI: CLOSED. Added ILS Needles to ADI, both for regular Navaids and Tacpacl carrier. 27/6/14
VC02 - Armament digital display not working (shows moving map as placeholder): CLOSED - Added basic SMS indications, 27/7
VC03 - Minor bugs in radio controls: CLOSED. Fixed errors in XML code. 7/7/14
VC04 - Minor details in COTAC station missing, also station not accessible: CLOSED. Added missing details and point of view. 7/7/2014
VC05 - Autopilot controls incomplete: OPEN
VC06 - Missing refuel pod controls: OPEN
VC07 - Some warning lights stay lit even in power is off: CLOSED. All warning lights now enslaved to battery status. 14/7
VC08 - Tacpack driven weapon system interface incomplete:CLOSED 28/7
VC09 - Missing Copilot view. CLOSED (left ouut on purpose on Beta, added to .cfg file). 20/6/14
VC10 - Red beacon light peeks through VC. Closed (modified strobe light effect). 20/6/14
VC11 - Missing speed target indication on ADI. Status: CLOSED. Added 26/7
VC12 - Missing VOR station / Tacpack Tacan indication on HSI: CLOSED. Added ILS in ADI and VOR Bearing in HSI. Also, support for Tacpack-generated navaids added. 28/6
VC13 - Fix course deviation indicator on HSI: CLOSED. Scale factor fixed. 28/6
VC14 - Missing mirror reflections in rearview mirrors: CLOSED. Went for regular bitmap 26/7
VC15 - Backlighting issues in some instruments. CLOSED - fixed backlighting conditions. 14/7
VC16 - Flight Control System lights peed through upper panel. CLOSED - fixed mdl. 14/7
VC17 - For consistency, some 2D details in the copilot VC should be turned into 3D. CLOSED 24/7
VC18 - Copilot EFIS control not working. Status: CLOSED 25/7
VC19 - Add ECM ready light. Status: CLOSED 28/7
VC20 - Add STA5 and STA6 missile fire lights. Status: CLOSED 28/7

Flight modeling:
The Beta features a "draft" flight model... I have not spent much time in testing the flight model, although generally the behaviour seems acceptable, including carrier landings.

Open issues:
FM01 - Takeoff run too short: OPEN - Check against NATOPS
FM02 - Carrier approach slightly too slow: OPEN - Check against NATOPS
FM03 - Weird "bouncing" issue before cat-launch (apparently only on Tacpack-driven carriers, a/c can be shot and issues disappears when throttles are at idle...). OPEN - Apparently the fix applied does not work every time...need to think of another solution :-(
FM04 - Wrong wing station location: fix aicraft.cfg file. CLOSED - wrong fuel external fuel tank location in aicraft.cfg. Fixed on 9/6/14

FM05 - Missing fuel dump entry in aircraft.cfg. CLOSED - Added missing entry to aircraft.cfg file, 20/6/14
FM06 - Outdated reference to old DSB Viking effects (remove). CLOSED - Removed entries from aircraft.cfg file, 20/6/14
FM07 - Minor issues with Landing gear dynamics. To be investigated. CLOSED - Fixed 29/7
FM08 - Wrong references to HTML files in the checklists. CLOSED - HTML are now poiting to a aicraft limitations information file. 29/7
FM09 - Automatic retraction of the launch bar fails. CLOSED - Note that this is an expected behaviour for SDK-compliant aicrafts and happens in many other aicrafts. Users still perceive this as a defects, so an XML automatic switch for launch bar was added. 25/6/14
FM10 - Incorrect wing apex position. Status: CLOSED. Fixed wing position flight dynamics 26/7
FM11 - Gear retraction too slow. Status: CLOSED. Gear retraction time was the same indicated in the NATOPS but this appeared to be slower than the real thing. 27/7

Tacpack functionalities:

This version was not meant to have any Tacpack functionality, but given that some are already in place I left them in. Basically, the weapon configurator should work, and you can fire rockets and dumb bombs. AGM-84 missiles will not work, nor will the refuel pod, chaffs and flares. NOTE: FILES ARE *NOT* SIGNED: will not be possible to fly in multiplayer if the server cheat control is active.

Open issues:
TP01 - Internal weapons can be released even if doors are closed: CLOSED. Fixed Tacpack code. 8/7/2014
TP02 - Radar functionality not implemented: CLOSED. Implemented basic Radar functionalities (controls on Rio Stations)...
TP03 - Refuel pod functionality not implemented: OPEN
TP04 - ECM functionality not implemented: CLOSED. Implemented basic ECM functionality (Jammer, flares, chaffs)... 26/7
TP05 - AGM-84D/H functionality not implemented: CLOSED. Implemented release capability of AGM-84 missiles.
TP06 - Tacpack-based Navaids will not show on EFIS: CLOSED. ILS now shows on ADI, Tacan pointer shows on the HSI. 28/6
TP07 - Tacpack IFR functionality not correctly implemented. CLOSED. 26/7

Miscellaneous issues:

MI01 - Inclusion of additional repaints: CLOSED. Added repaints received from Antonio Diaz and Russel R. Smith. 7/7/2014
MI02 - Create new thumbnails for all the liveries: CLOSED  - Redone thumbnails. 7/7/2014

MI03 - Create final installation documentation: OPEN
MI04 - Create checklists: OPEN
MI05 - Create product documentatio (either flight manual or reference sheets): OPEN

MI06 - Missing carrier trap sound: CLOSED. Fixed on 24/7/2014


Monday, June 2, 2014

F-14D Tomcat - Update to version 2.31

While testing the S-3B Viking, I have spotted some annoying defects on my other aicrafts... needless to say I felt the need to fxi them, so here we go with a further update to the Tomcat.
Updates to the F-35 Lightning II and to the T-45C are also coming in the next few days.
Change log as follows - and download link on the side bar as usual.

June 2nd, 2014
- Fixed a bug that caused the Radio-altimeter not to work in the latest versions
- Fixed minor backlighting bug (digits in instruments not backlit)
- Changed flood lighting color to green (as per NATOPS)
- Fixed bug causing CSEL DEC function in MFDs not to work (courtesy of James F. Chams)
- Minor code cleanup

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Project Announcement: Aermacchi MB.326 (and derivatives)!

The most frequent question I am asked about my Flight Simulator project is by far "Can you do a good model of [insert favourite plane here]?"
F-4, F-16 and EF-2000 are the most recurrent requests, by the way.
Well, I think I had already clarified that my next project (after the S-3B Viking, I mean) will be the Aermacchi MB.326.
If you follow this blog or read my facebook page, you will surely know why: some months ago I had the chance to fly in the beautifully restored Aermacchi MB.326E owned by Renzo Catellani and I completely fell in love with this great machine.
Another reason why it seems to me a great choice is that so far I have mostly made U.S.Navy models, and I have neglected the aeronautical heritage of my own country.
And a third reason is that it has been a huge commercial success, and the aicraft has a huge base of worldwide fans.

For those who did not know (from Wikipedia), the MB-326 is a light military aircraft designed in Italy. Originally conceived as a two-seat trainer , there have also been single and two-seat light attack versions produced. It is one of the most commercially successful aircraft of its type, being bought by more than 10 countries and produced under licence in Australia, Brazil and South Africa.It set many category records, including an altitude record of 56,807 ft (17,315 m) on 18 March 1966. More than 600 were built.

The model will be developed according to Flight Simulator X: Acceleration SDK, and will be compatible with Prepar3d.
The base model will be, or course, the Aermacchi MB.326E, which is a two-seater armed version (6 underwing hard points). Starting from this base model, it should be relatively easy to:
- convert it to an ealier unarmed version (i.e. the original MB.326 design)
- create a single seater attack version (such as the MB.326K)
...and, well, it is also true that many parts are common or similar to the MB.339, so may be this will come sometime in the future.

As for the weapons, my plan is to support the Tacpack and include all the relevant weapons that will be available (not many at the moment... MK.82, additional guns and rocket pods).

In terms of time frame, I will first release the S-3B Viking (full release may take a couple of months) do not expect anything before the next winter.

Here is how it looks in Prepar3D at the moment (boy the cloud shadows are really something!)...
..and here is yours truly in control of the real deal :-) ! 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

T-45C Goshawk Update to Version 2.61

IMPORTANT! Shortly after the release of version 2.60, I was notified of a bug due to the fact that the wrong panel.cfg was packaged with the build. I have fixed the problem, repackaged the files and uploaded version 2.61. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Here is another update to the Goshawk - I have packed several modifications and improvements I have been working on from time to time in the past few months to keep the T-45 on par with my recent releases.
The biggest changes are the Virtual Cockpit (which now features 4096x4096 textures and the addition of several missing details) and the fact that I have added LAU-68 rocket launchers which are functional in the Tacpack environment (a Tacpack configuration manager is also provided).
Training bombs are still not working as they are not supported by Tacpack.

Here is the full list of changes:
- Enhanced virtual cockpit texture resolution
- Added missing details in virtual cockpit
- Fixed instrument night lighting
- Miscellaneous minor tweaks to aicraft.cfg
- Added digits and Mach reading to airspeed indicator
- Added digits and baro reading to altimeter
- External loads are now triggered by station weights, token weights are as follows:
  110 lbs on central pylon to make baggage pod appear
  225 lbs on a wing pylon to make practice bombs appear
  250 lbs on a wing pylon to make LAU-68 rocket launcher appear
- Added loadout configurator (requires Tacpack)
- LAU-68 rockets are now working in Tacpack. To fire a rocket:
  1) Activate the configurator (SHIFT+4) and select rockets (note this can be done anytime
  in single player, but may be limited by host settings in multiplayer)
  2) Once airborne, select the A/G Master Mode (MENU->STRS->A/S)
  3) Select one RKT station
  4) Fire through Trigger key in Tacpack
  NOTE: Fire mode is always RIPPLE (cannot be selected), DEP Reticle is almost a gimmick...
- Added following keyboard shortcuts
  MASTER ARM - "Control+A"
  WEAPONS RELOAD - "Shift+Control+W" (subject to host settings)
  MASTER MODE NAV - "Shift+Control+1"
  MASTER MODE A/A - "Shift+Control+2"
  MASTER MODE A/S - "Shift+Control+3"

Download from the side bar as usual.

Friday, May 2, 2014

F-14D Tomcat updated to version 2.30

After the deployment of the latest version of my Tomcat, an important bug was identified bug in the A/A Radar Slaved Launch code. The bug affectes the latest version(s) of the Tomcat, and while it potentially affects all the weapons, it has catastrophic effects on the Phoenix which is not able, in many instances, to lock on the radar target.
So here is yet another update to the F-14D, which is now promoted to version 2.30.
I took the chance to fix some other minor defects. Download link from the side bar as usual.

May 2nd, 2014
- Fixed bug in the Tacpack code which prevented AIM-54C missile seeker to achieve a lock on L&S target
- Fixed minor bug in the Multi-status indicator (station 8B did not report the Ready/Selected status for AIM-54 missiles)
- Clean up of Tacpack code
- Added HYD PRESS animated needle in Virtual Cockpit
- Added AIM-54 in STA1B and 8B in Virtual Cockpit
- Fixed in-flight refuel ration while using Tacpack

Non-Tacpack users can gracefully skip the update as it (almost) have no impact for them.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Minor, and hopefully final, update to the F-35 and F-14D projects

As some of you may be aware of, a small bug was detected in the recent updates of the F-14 and F-35. Namely, while performing an in-flight refuel in Tacpack, the fuel flow rate could become, in some instances, way too low.
I have updated the files to version get rid of this bug ( is a a little too fast!) but should be better than before. You can download, as usual, the latest and greatest from the side bar.

NOTE: there is no effect to non-Tacpack users, so they can live happily with the previous versions if they want to.

If there are no other major reasons to update the projects, these will be, most probably, the last versions compatible with Flight Simulator X - the next round of mods, if any, may include Prepar3D2-only features and I will not be able to support backward compatibility.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

F-35 Lightning II - Update to version 2.40

In a futile attempt to clean my virtual factory to make room for the roll-out of the S-3B Viking, here is an update to the F-35 project. No big changes, but several minor fixes I had collected over time. Change log for the update, which can be downloaded frome the side bar as usual, is as follows:

Version 2.40
April 22nd 2014
- Added functionality to external tanks: if tanks are present, it is possible to fill the "external tanks 1 and 2" (461 gallons each).
  If tanks are absent, any fuel in those slots will be immediately depleted. External fuel quantity appear in
- Added IFF Friend cue (UNTESTED in multiplayer). A "FRIEND" cue will appear if a A/A missile is locked on a friendly A/C and the target
  is within launch range.
- Added DUD cue to bombs (flashing cross for CCIP, flashing "DUD" on AUTO and MAN modes).
- Fixed A/S Targeting issues. Now "ENTER" designates aicraft boresight, while TRIGGER designated HMD LOS.
- Fixed minor bug in ENG page
- Fixed rendering issue in F-35C external model
- Minor improvements to autopilot logic (still not working as intended in many instances)
- Fixed bug causing unnecessary opening of weapon bay doors
- Fixed bug causing occasional uncommanded release of ordnance
- Changed in flight refuel logic, now with more realistic fuel rate (takes minutes to refill the A/C - UNTESTED)
- Added 2D MFD (SHIFT+5) to all aicrafts (feature previously available as patch)

...and yes, there is an update for the T-45C in the works, which will mostly add some missing details in the cockpit and will increase the texture resolution...but this is not complete yet, and may take another week or two to be done.

As for the S-3, my current ETA is to have a Alpha build by mid may...and possibly a Beta in June, and a release once the Beta is debugged. I can tell you it is coming along quite nicely.
I have not yet decided if the Alpha and Beta builds will be public - please do not write asking to partecipate. I will post relevant instructions either on this blog or on facebook.

Also, provided there are no catastrophic issues, this may well be the last FSX-compatible update for the F-35 Project... Prepar3D v2.2 offers native sensor support (we could have ASR, TFLIR and DAS native support)...and it may be a better choice for the future of the project. But in any case, the focus is now on the S-3B Viking. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Yet another Tomcat update (version 2.28)... and a brief review of various projects.

Here is another update to my F-14D Tomcat - this will probably the last update for a while, and maybe the last FSX-compatible build. In the not-so near future, my plan is to start introducing P3DV2.2-only functions, such as working rear mirrors, and native sensor emulation and A/S radar. But don't freak out - this will not happen until 2015, and the S-3 and the MB.325 will be still compiled for FSX.

Here is the release log for this update:

April 22nd, 2014
COMPATIBILITY NOTE: the release of P3DV2.2 has solved the compatibility issues with the existing code.
- Fixed bug in fuel system preventing external tanks to work with Tacpack
- Fixed fuel quantities (more correct values)
- Fixed bug preventing wing sweep air bags to deflate in oversweep mode
- Tweaked engine performance tables
- Fixed minor bug in Tacpack weapons configurator
- Improved Tackpack laser designation logic (but bomb still missing the target in many instances...JDAM is still the preferred and default choice)
- Minor improvement to NACES textures

As you can see there are only minor changes... but still they have been sitting on my hard disk for a while, so here you go. You can download the files from the side bar, as usual.

And now, a very quick review of where I am with the various projects...

T-45C Goshawk
There are a number of small improvements I am working on... most prominently, I am upgrading the visuals of the Virtual Cockpit, which now features better textures and more details. Also, I'd like to improve the near-stall behavior and add support Tacpack-based rockets.

F-35 Lightning II
Also for this one, there are a number of small improvements, like fixes for a couple of rendering issues I have spotted, and improvements to several areas of the code (working fuel tanks, more realistic refuel rate, IFF "Friend" cue, improvements to laser designation, support for HMD head roll. etc.etc.) - again, very minor things, but still...

S-3B VikingI know this is the one you are waiting for... and I am happy to announce that an Alpha build may be available at mid-May (hopefully!)... A lot of work to be done, but I have recently completed the VC modeling and texturing so, it is getting closer and closer.

MB.326Working on this from time to time...and it is making some progress. Looks good so far!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Grumman F-14D Tomcat Version 2.25 Release

All, given I will not have much time in the next few weeks, here is an update to the F-14D project. There are still many bugs and inaccuracies, but, well, in the end it is still better than the previous version IMHO. The file can be downloaded from the link on the side bar of this blog.
March 30th, 2014

COMPATIBILITY NOTE:There are minor incompatibility issues in P3Dv2.1, unless the HOTFIX 1 patch IS applied. Please check Prepar3d website for download and installation of Hotfix 1.

- Added support from AIM-54 Phoenix on STA 1B and STA 8B (Token weight is 1024lbs)
- Fuel tanks are now removeable. Presence is controlled by the weight on Station_load.11 (for STA 2) and .12 (for STA 7). Token weight is 381 lbs.
- Fuel tanks can be jettisoned in Tacpack via the EMERGENCY Jettison button.
- Fuel tanks are functional, through the Doug Dawson's fuel dump gauge. Uninistalling/dropping the tanks will immediately eliminate the fuel in the "External Tank" slot. Upon reinstalling the tanks, they must be refilled manually.   
- TACPACK Weapons configurator rewritten from scratch, new graphics and more configurations available
- Minor improvement in the rendering of afterburners
- Minor improvements to autopilot logic (it still has many problems unfortunately)
- Revised transonic drag and engine performance at high altitude/high Mach no. (transonic wave is still low, but overall engine performance should be closer to the real deal)
- Fixed aicraft description in manus
- Fixed cockpit lighting issues
- Fixed few bugs in the MFD keypress logic (still apparently FSX cannot detect some mouse areas, which seem to work in P3Dv2)
- Improved NACES textures
- Added digits to Airspeed indicator for both Indicated Air Speed an Mach No.
- Added digits to Altimeter for both Altitude reading and Barometric setting
- Added AUTO and MAN mode for Air to Ground Ordnance release
- Added support for Pre-Planned (PP) targets. Note that the next Navigation Waypoint is designated as PP target, but in many instances the NAV computer updates the WP too fast. The function can still be used to upload the next WP to the current target, by switching back to TOO mode.
- Added DUD cue for bombs release in TACPACK (flashing cross in CCIP mode - flashing DUD cue in other modes)
- Rewritten Tacpack code in order to get rid of weapon accuracy bug in the previous release. Note: bug was not clearly identified and may still be there, weapons accuracy has not been tested.
- Rewritten Tacpack Air Refuel code, now should support a realistic fuel transfer rate (UNTESTED FEATURE) 
- Fixed bugs in AoA Indexer (not transitioning correctly between lights)
- Added IFF Mode 4 TACPACK "Friend" CUE to A/A (will flash "FRIEND" cue in the HUD only, in A/A mode, if L&S target is positively identified as FRIEND - UNTESTED FEATURE)
- Fixed accuracy of several analog gauges

Friday, February 14, 2014

F-35 HotFix for Prepar3D V2.1

Prepar3D version 2.1 is finally out and I highly reccomend it - on my system is a much more stable build and the vast majority of the most annoying bugs are finally gone (texture swapping and joystick disconnection in Windows 8 drove me mad!)...

Unfortunately there seem to be changes to XML parsing result, a small portion of the F-35 code did not work anymore.
Specifically this was the part that told the sim which version of the F-35 was being flown and selectively deactivated the version-specific functions.
Long story short, STOVL functions for the F-35 did not work anymore - nor the launch bar and wing fold option were accessible from the MFD.


Anyway, here is a hot-fix that should solve the issue with the STOVL not working in P3Dv2.1 - DOWNLOAD HERE

Changes will be integrated in a full release in the near future...

And now some complimentary screenshots from P3DV2.1 (with various add-ons, including my own aircrafts, BlueSky's California, Isola d'Elba and Aerosoft's Venice X)!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Projects updates

A very quick update on the status of the various projects I am working on...
As you know, it is extremely difficult for me to find the time to work so many projects, which are getting more and more complex and time consuming.
At the moment all the new projects (S-3 and MB.326) are being developed as freeware - but given the effort needed for those projects I cannot rule out a switch to payware. For the moment it is just an option... but it is being evaluated seriously.

Lockeed S-3B Viking
At the moment, this is the highest priority and I am (slowly) working on the Virtual Cockpit geometry and textures. The preliminary work was not completely satisfactory, so I have restarted it from scratch. It will take a couple of months before it is complete... so a Beta version may be released around Easter, hopefully.
An almost complete AI Tanker version is also in the works, and I am considering to release it separately.

Boeing T-45C Goshawk
I am working on few small improvements and I have made some minor tweaks to the Virtual Cockpit... no high priority changes at the moment.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
I am still collecting feedback from the latest build, although, apparently, there are no major issues that need immediate action. There are few unrleased enhancements I'd like to share with you and I will do that as soon as possible.

Grumman F-14D TomcatAlso for the big cat I have been collecting feedback from the latest build - which is far from being perfect but, at least, seems free from major problems. Once I have reached a "critical mass" of fixes/improvements I will release a further update.

Aermacchi MB.326
After some preliminary (and quite promising) work, driven by the enthusiasm of flying on the real thing, I have put this project on hold in order to try to complete the Viking.

As usual, suggestions are welcome.